He faces up to 15 years in jail if found guilty of human trafficking and money laundering
New details have emerged on Bangladesh MP Mohammad Shahid Islam Papul that says he had acquired a trading licence to trade almost everything in Kuwait.
Papul has a commercial licence known as “general trading and contracting” license, which allows him to trade in everything, from children’s toys to antique carpets, Gulf News reported quoting Kuwait daily, Al Qabas.
Papul had access to acquire many governmental contracts from construction and electric work to agriculture and car rentals, it said citing sources.
The report says Papul was able to take workers from Bangladesh and other countries to Kuwait using the licence without any legal obstacles.
It was previously reported that Papul had four companies in the labour contracting and cleaning industry.
Using the trading licence to enter the gold and carpet business, Papul was able to continue his illegal permit trading scheme without raising suspicion because of the high value earned from his other business dealings, the report said.
An informed source told Qabas that some governmental contracts are drawn up to show they need 500 employees as cleaners. But in reality only 100 work directly for the company while others become “marginal workers”.
The term ‘marginal workers’ is used to describe unfixed employment, most often conducted by low income workers. In the context of Kuwait, ‘marginal workers’ are those that do not have a fixed job or company job, rather they find work whenever and wherever they can.
Papul used his trading licence to bring foreign labours under his various other companies including cleaning companies, to continue his human trafficking business, the report says.
According to a report by Al Qabas, 20,000 Bangladeshi workers were brought to Kuwait, by Papul, in exchange for more than 50 million Kuwaiti dinars.
Papul was arrested by Kuwait authorities on June 7 in Kuwait City on charges of human trafficking and money laundering.
Kuwait also suspended a major general in connection with his alleged link with human trafficking and the visa trading business of Papul.
Papul is being accused of bringing in thousands of Bangladeshi’s into Kuwait in exchange for money, usually ranging around 1,500 to 2,000 Kuwaiti dinars, Al Qabas reported.
The Bangladeshi MP has 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.