The accounts of Shahid Islam Papul, a Bangladeshi MP arrested in Kuwait on charges of money and human trafficking, and his Marafi Kuwaiti company are being seized.
Of this, Marafi Kuwaiti Company has five million Kuwaiti dinars or Bangladeshi Taka in the account of 137 crore 8 lakh 83, according to the local media, quoting the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Kuwait.
Papul is scheduled to be formally charged in Kuwait on July 8. Until then, he will have to stay in jail. If found guilty, Kuwaiti law carries a maximum sentence of five to 15 years in prison, as well as a fine.
The Arab Times reported on Saturday (June 20th) night that government prosecutors had already applied to Kuwait’s central bank to seize Papul and his company’s bank accounts.
According to the prosecution, the company has 5 million Kuwaiti dinars in its account. Of which 3 million is company capital. This step has been taken to prevent the suspects from withdrawing or transferring the money and confiscating it if found guilty in court. Papul, an MP from Laxmipur-2 constituency, was arrested on the night of June 8 from Musharraf area of Kuwait. Papul, one of the owners of the Marafi Kuwait Company, has a permanent residence permit in Kuwait.
The Kuwaiti prosecution has charged Papul with human trafficking, money laundering and exploitation of business workers on the basis of allegations made by five Bangladeshi victims. He has been remanded in custody since the day after his arrest. What the Bangladeshi MP said in remand is being published by various media outlets quoting the prosecutors. How he bribed Kuwaiti officials is also coming up.
According to Kuwaiti media reports, investigators have already identified seven people as Papul’s supporters; Among them are two current and one former member of parliament from Kuwait. There is a demand in the country to bring all of them to justice by revealing their names quickly. Papul, who went to Kuwait as an ordinary worker and built a huge empire, was elected as a Member of Parliament in 2016 as an independent candidate. Not only that, he also brought his wife Selina Islam as a Member of Parliament in the reserved seat.
Papul is the vice chairman of NRB Commercial Bank, founded by expatriate entrepreneurs, where he has a large stake. Papul had earlier told investigators that the Marafi Kuwaiti company had about 9,000 employees. Most of them are Bangladeshis. He also informed that there are agreements with 34 government agencies and institutions for recruitment.
Interrogation of Papul’s three ‘helpers’ Meanwhile, the Arab Times reported on Saturday night that three people, including two government officials, whom Papul had described as being bribed during interrogation, were being arrested and questioned.
The newspaper wrote on condition of anonymity that one of them was a director of the government manpower authority and the other was a colonel-level official in the home ministry. Earlier, it was reported that two of the three were bribed by a Bangladeshi MP with a total of 21 lakh dinars in checks and cash.
In addition to the seizure of bank accounts, the Arabic daily Al-Qabas also reported the seizure of various documents, including money, documents and CCTV footage deposited in Papul’s company office.
Citing government prosecutors, various newspapers wrote that Papul’s annual profit was 20 lakh dinars (about 55 crore 19 lakh taka). The Arab Times reported that investigators in Papua New Guinea had provided information to investigators.