Papul was arrested in Kuwait in June last year in cases related to human trafficking, residency visa trading and money laundering
Parliament has declared the Lakshmipur 2 constituency Jatiya Sangsad seat vacant following the conviction of Shahid Islam alias Kazi Papul on charges of human trafficking and money laundering by a court in Kuwait.
A gazette notification to this effect was published on Monday. Papul’s parliament membership has been revoked in line with Article 66 of the Constitution, according to the gazette notification.
Article 66 provides that a person shall be disqualified for election as, or for being, a member of parliament who has been, on conviction for a criminal offence involving moral turpitude, sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than two years, unless a period of five years has elapsed since his release.
Papul was arrested in Kuwait in June last year in cases related to human trafficking, residency visa trading and money laundering. He was sent to prison there.
Later, the public prosecutor of Kuwait approached the Central Bank, asking it to freeze his bank accounts. The financial balance of Papul’s company amounts to about 5 million Kuwait dinars, including 3 million dinars as the company’s capital.
A Kuwait court on January 28 sentenced Papul to four years’ imprisonment on charges of human trafficking and money laundering.
He has also been charged with torturing employees of his company, based on complaints from five Bangladeshi nationals subjected to trafficking.
On August 16, 2020, Abul Foyej Bhuiya, a candidate (independent) at the 11th parliamentary election, filed a writ petition challenging the legality of MP Papul’s post as he had been accused of providing fake documents and submitting fake educational certificates, which is a violation of the Representation of the People Order, 1972.
On June 9, 2020, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in Bangladesh served notices on MP Papul and his family members, seeking their wealth statements.
They were asked to submit copies of their passports, national ID cards, TINs and income tax returns within 15 days.
The ACC also sought income tax documents of Papul, his family and his sister-in-law from the National Board of Revenue (NBR) on June 18.
In February last year, an unidentified Bangladeshi was arrested on the basis of allegations related to money laundering and trafficking, reports Al-Qabas, a daily which quoted the Ministry of Interior of Kuwait.
He was said to be a member of a three-man gang, while the other two, including MP Shahid Islam, fled the country sensing impending trouble.
The trio allegedly occupied sensitive positions in three major companies that had brought more than 20,000 Bangladeshi menial workers to Kuwait in exchange of large sums of money, believed to be more than 50 million dinars.
The company that Papul had been running there on sending workers to Kuwait had not paid salaries to its workers for more than five months.
The lawmaker left the country sensing that he might be investigated by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Kuwait.