Papul denied bail again | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 28, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:28 AM, November 28, 2020

Papul denied bail again

Full hearing of trafficking, money laundering case in Kuwait in Jan

A Kuwait court on Thursday denied bail of Bangladeshi MP Shahid Islam Papul in a case involving human trafficking and money laundering, and set January 28 next year for the full hearing of the case, reported Kuwaiti newspaper Al Qabas.

With this, the Kuwait court has denied his bail on 12 occasions.

Four staff members of Papul's Marafie Kuwaitia Group were also denied bail. However, three Kuwaiti officials were granted bail in exchange for 20,000 Kuwaiti dinars each.

A source in Kuwait told this correspondent that Papul was taken to the criminal court of Kuwait, headed by Counsellor Abdullah Al-Othman, around 9:00am. The hearing that began at 2:00pm continued until 7:30pm.

Papul's lawyers prayed for his bail, but the judge denied it and set January 28 for the full hearing.

Kuwait's Criminal Investigation Department detained Papul, an MP from Laxmipur-2 constituency and also the managing director and CEO of Marafie Kuwaitia Group, a conglomerate in Kuwait, on June 6 this year.

He was accused of charging each foreign worker, mostly from Bangladesh, up to 3,000 dinars in exchange for taking them to Kuwait. Many of the workers, however, alleged that they were not provided with the jobs or wages that were promised. Much of the wages they got was also appropriated by Papul's company.

Papul has confessed to bribing Kuwaiti officials with millions of dollars for recruiting Bangladeshi workers and getting contracts for his company.

Sources said Papul, who went to Kuwait nearly 30 years ago as a worker and later started business, earned a large amount of black money. He had several companies, mostly cleaning, and had contracts with Kuwaiti government agencies.

Al Qabas reported that the public prosecution demanded maximum penalties for the accused in the case, confirming that it has strong evidence of the allegations made in the case.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh's Anti-Corruption Commission opened an inquiry into the allegation that Papul amassed Tk 1,400 crore by trafficking people into Kuwait and laundered the money to different countries.

The ACC said the inquiry was to look into the charges of loan forgery and money laundering by NRB Commercial Bank Director Papul, his wife Selina Islam, their daughter Kazi Wafa Islam and Selina's sister Jesmin.

On July 17, the ACC imposed a foreign travel ban on all of them, saying that the embargo would be implemented for Papul after his return to the country.

He had no involvement in politics back home before 2016. Sources say he invested crores of taka to block the paths of other potential candidates in Laxmipur-2 constituency and became an independent MP in the 2018 elections. His wife Selina also became an MP from the women's reserved seat in the same manner.


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