The Financial Express

Kuwaiti court upholds seven-year sentence of Shahid

| Updated: November 29, 2021 16:04:09

Kuwaiti court upholds seven-year sentence of Shahid

Former MP Mohammad Shahid Islam alias Kazi Papul will have to serve seven years in a Kuwaiti jail for human trafficking and money laundering as the Middle-Eastern country’s top court has upheld the sentence.

The Court of Cassation upheld an appellate court verdict that extended his jail term from four years on Sunday, local newspaper Al-Qabas reported.

It also upheld the 2.7 million Kuwaiti dinar fines slapped on Shahid. Sealing the end of the case, the court said the authorities will have to send Shahid back to Bangladesh after he serves the sentence in Kuwait.

The labour recruiter was residing in Kuwait in line with the country’s Aliens Residence Law. He was arrested in Kuwait in June 2020 and sentenced by a criminal court in January this year, says a bdnews24.com report.

Shahid won in the 2018 election as an independent candidate. He also launched a successful bid to bring his wife Salina Islam to parliament as a reserved-seat MP. The Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating the couple’s wealth.

Bangladesh parliament revoked his membership from Laxmipur-2 seat.

Having travelled to Kuwait as a migrant worker, Shahid became the owner of a business empire there. He also has a sizable number of shares of NRB Commercial Bank, founded by expatriate Bangladeshi entrepreneurs.

His company Marafie Kuwaitia used to recruit cleaners but later he started other businesses in Kuwait. He had a licence called ‘general trading and contracting’ which enabled him to run a business of many products ranging from children’s toys to antique carpets.

Besides human trafficking and money laundering, the Kuwaiti prosecutors charged him with torturing employees of his company, based on the complaints from five Bangladeshi nationals subjected to trafficking. The incident stirred a political furore in Kuwait.

The Kuwaiti appellate court in April also sentenced the country’s MP Salah Khorshid, who was acquitted of charges of taking bribes from Shahid, to seven years in jail.

Another Kuwaiti MP, Saadoun Hammad, was Shahid’s co-accused in the trial. The appellate court upheld Hammad’s acquittal.

It extended the sentence of Major General Mazen Sheikh Mazem Al Jarrah, former assistant under-secretary of the interior ministry in Kuwait, and two other Kuwaiti officials to seven years from four years for abetting the former Bangladeshi lawmaker’s unlawful work.

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