OPN_181201 human trafficking

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Kuwait City: A special criminal court in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka has ordered that 617 bank accounts belonging to the Bangladeshi MP, Mohammed Shahid Islam, and his associates be frozen, Al Rai reported.

A judicial source revealed that the bank accounts were allegedly used to move around money that Islam and his partners received from human trafficking activities in the Gulf region.

The director of the Anti-Corruption Commission in Bangladesh, Muhammad Salah Al Din, provided evidence that led Judge K. M. Amrul Kaysh to issue an order to freeze the accounts.

The frozen bank accounts are estimated to hold a total of approximately $15 to $17 million, majority of which is allegedly from their human trafficking activities in Kuwait, as well as other Gulf countries.

While Islam and his associates are still locked up, the court has agreed to release Islam’s wife and daughter on bail.

Series of events

In June 8, Islam was arrested on charges of human trafficking, money laundering and bribery, according to local Kuwaiti media. In terms of human trafficking, Islam is being accused of bringing in thousands of Bangladeshis into Kuwait in exchange for money, usually ranging from 1,500 to 2,000 Kuwaiti dinars, Al Qabas reported.

Islam is the managing director and CEO of Marafie Kuwaitia Group, a security and labour contracting company. In addition, Islam has three other companies in Kuwait, all of which are cleaning and contracting companies.

The Bangladeshi MP had an annual net profit of around two million Kuwaiti dinars after all the bribes and money he spent on gifts in exchange for facilitating transactions and paperwork to bring in workers from Bangladesh.

In August, it was revealed that Islam possessed a commercial licence that allowed him to trade in everything, from children’s toys to antiques, carpets and gold. By entering the gold and carpet business, Islam was able to continue his illegal permit trading scheme without raising suspicion because of the high value earned from his other business dealings, a source told Al Qabas.

In September, one of Islam’s associates, Amir Hossain, admitted to fleeing Kuwait, although the police had seized their passports and placed a travel ban on him. Hossain said that he was able to fly out of Kuwait’s airport with the assistance of the immigration department in exchange for a huge bribe.

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