Major General Mazen Sheikh Mazem Al Jarrah, assistant under-secretary of the interior ministry in Kuwait, is also among the accused
A Kuwait court will open trial against Bangladeshi MP Mohammad Shahid Islam, alias Kazi Papul, and eight others over the charges of human trafficking and money laundering on Thursday.
Two Kuwaiti lawmakers Saadoun Hammad and Salah Khorshid would also be facing trial for reportedly taking bribes from Shahid.
Major General Mazen Sheikh Mazem Al Jarrah, assistant under-secretary of the interior ministry in Kuwait, is also among the accused.
The accused are charged with human trafficking, money laundering, bribing and threatening the state security, reported Arabic daily Al Qabas and Al Ra'I citing the Kuwait public prosecution.
Shahid, MP of Lakshmipur-2 seat, was arrested in Kuwait on June 6.
The Kuwaiti prosecutors charged Shahid with human trafficking, money laundering, and torture on employees of his company, based on the complaints from five Bangladeshi nationals subjected to trafficking.
The incident stirred a political furore in Kuwait.
Worker recruiter Shahid, who runs the Marafie Kuwaitia Group as managing director and CEO, resides in Kuwait according to the Aliens Residence Law.
He confessed to bribing Kuwait officials and his statement has been published in different media outlets.
The two lawmakers named were also charged for assisting Shahid in his illegal actions and also for money laundering.
At least 13 people were accused in the case but four were later exempted during the investigation, reported Al Qabas.
Among the accused, six including MP Papul are in prison while two Kuwaiti MPs are out on bail. One accused in the case is absconding.
Having travelled to Kuwait as a migrant worker, Shahid now owns a business empire. He also has a sizable amount of shares of NRB Commercial Bank, founded by expatriate Bangladeshi entrepreneurs.
His company Marafie Kuwaitia used to recruit cleaners but later he grabbed other business in Kuwait. Shahid 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 carpet, reported Gulf News.
Authorities in both Kuwait and Bangladesh have frozen his bank accounts. Bangladesh also opened an investigation against its lawmaker.
No statement was available from Shahid’s lawyer as of now regarding his trial.
Meanwhile, his wife, Salina Islam, also a reserved seat MP, who is under Anti Corruption Commission’s scanner had claimed that Shahid was a “victim of a conspiracy.”
"Papul's enterprise in Kuwait employs thousands of workers. Many of them are from Bangladesh and they send back millions of takas in remittances to the country," she had said.