Shahid ‘bribed 2 Kuwaiti MPs Tk 20cr’: report | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 14, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:01 AM, July 14, 2020

Shahid ‘bribed 2 Kuwaiti MPs Tk 20cr’: report

Kuwaiti prosecution tells national assembly

Bangladesh MP Shahid Islam Papul gave 720,000 dinars (about Tk 20 crore) to two members of Kuwait's National Assembly as bribes to facilitate foreign workers' recruitment and financial transactions, according to Kuwait's Public Prosecution.

It revealed the information in a report to Kuwait's National Assembly after Papul confessed during interrogation, reported Arab Times on Sunday.

According to the Public Prosecution's memorandum, Shahid revealed that he gave MP Saadoun Hammad about 200,000 dinars, including 50,000 dinars at his residence in South Surra region, and 150,000 dinars in cheques through a Syrian national mediator, who is the deputy manager of a company.

The target of the bribes was to facilitate his transactions and complete his commercial procedures in Kuwait.

Papul further gave 370,000 dinars in cash to MP Salah Khorshid at his residence in instalments, in exchange for bringing in Bangladeshi workers, and excluding him from obtaining their job approvals from Kuwait's immigration.

Kuwait's National Assembly has lifted immunity for interrogation of the two MPs in connection to Papul's case. Some officials were also detained for being involved in the alleged crimes.

Papul, managing director and CEO of Marafie Kuwaitia Group, is accused of human trafficking, money laundering, bribes and visa trading. He recruited 20,000 foreign workers, mostly Bangladeshis, in exchange for Tk 700,000 to Tk 900,000, but did not provide jobs and wages as per the contracts. His company is also accused of charging for annual work permit renewal.

Shahid, from Laxmipur-2, and his wife Selina Islam became MPs in the 2018 election allegedly through the power of illicit money from Luxmipur-2 constituency.

Meanwhile, Bangladeshi ambassador to Kuwait, SM Abul Kalam's role has been questioned as Papul continued to commit such crimes for years. The ambassador in a letter to the foreign ministry in Dhaka gave a clean image of Papul, after the Kuwaiti media ran reports of his criminal activities.

Against this backdrop, the government of Bangladesh has decided to appoint Maj Gen Md Ashikuzzaman as the new ambassador to Kuwait.

Ashikuzzaman, who was commissioned in Bangladesh Army in 1988, had been serving in Instructional, Staff and Command appointments at various levels during his military service.

He also served in three UN Peace Support Missions in Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and DR Congo. Right before his appointment as the ambassador, he served as Senior Directing Staff (Army) at the National Defence College, Bangladesh.


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