Papul, who was arrested for human trafficking in Kuwait, has money laundering charges against him and his wife at home
A Kuwaiti criminal court has set the delivery of the verdict in a case against Bangladeshi MP Shahid Islam, alias Kazi Papul, over human-trafficking and money-laundering charges to January 28, 2021.
The court of Judge Abdullah Al-Osman set the date of the verdict on Thursday after hearing the closing argument presented by the defence attorney, according to local newspaper Al-Qabas.
After the court opened the trial on September 17, MP Papul appealed for bail. But the judge sent him to jail instead, after setting October 1 to resume hearing.
The court’s proceedings were later delayed after the Kuwaiti ruling Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah passed away on September 29.
Two Kuwaiti lawmakers, Saadoun Hammad and Salah Khorshid – who are Shahid’s co-accused in the trial – have been charged with bribery.
Major General Mazen Sheikh Mazem Al Jarrah, assistant under-secretary of the interior ministry in Kuwait, is also among the accused.
Papul, the MP of Lakshmipur-2 constituency, was arrested in Kuwait on June 6 for human-trafficking and money-laundering.
Besides human trafficking and money laundering, the Kuwaiti prosecutors charged MP Papul with torturing employees of his company, based on the complaints from five Bangladeshi migrant workers subjected to trafficking. The incident stirred a political furore in Kuwait.
Worker recruiter, Papul, who runs the Marafie Kuwaitia Group as managing director and CEO, resides in Kuwait in line with the country’s Aliens Residence Law.
The Bangladeshi lawmaker confessed to bribing Kuwait officials and his statement has been published in the media.
The two Kuwaiti MPs named in the case were charged for assisting Shahid in his illegal acts and also for money laundering.
At least 13 people were accused in the case but four were exempted following investigations.
Among the accused, six including MP Shahid are in prison while the two Kuwaiti MPs are out on bail. One of the accused in the case is absconding.
Having travelled to Kuwait as a migrant worker himself, Papul now owns a business empire there. He also has a sizable number of shares of NRB Commercial Bank, founded by expatriate Bangladeshi entrepreneurs.
His company Marafie Kuwaitia used to recruit cleaners but later he started other businesses in Kuwait.
Papul 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.
Papul won the Laxmipur-2 seat in the 2018 election as an independent candidate. He also launched a successful bid to bring his wife Salina Islam to parliament as a reserved-seat MP.
Kuwait authorities have frozen his bank accounts. Meanwhile, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in Bangladesh has prosecuted him and his wife recently for laundering Tk148 crore.