Citizen & banker acquitted in usury, money-wash case

KUWAIT CITY, July 10: The Criminal Court acquitted a citizen and an employee of a local bank in a money laundering case filed against them as they have been accused of usury and processing money laundering transactions valued at KD 1.1 million.

The Public Prosecution charged one of the accused of money laundering which, investigators estimated at KD 1,113,770, with his knowledge that these monies were obtained through usury. He loaned out some monies with hidden interest to victims. He conditioned his victims by saying he will keep possession of those monies in his accounts in local banks with the aim of hiding the reality behind that amount and its illegal source.

The prosecution said the accused took advantage of the needy victims by lending them money at usurious rates, asking them to pay excessive amounts – more than what he lent to them. The other accused is considered an accomplice as he helped the other in committing crimes. He referred loan defaulters to the other accused to obtain loans and to reschedule their previous loans.

Details of the case as per the testimony of the officer indicate that secret investigations led him to one of the accused who was laundering the money he obtained through usury as he took advantage of loan defaulters. He disclosed the accused claimed that he obtained the money from trading cars, but this is far from the truth which he concealed with the assistance of the other accused. Lawyer for the accused, Attorney Saleh Abdullah Al-Mutairi, affirmed that his clients denied the charges from the beginning of investigations. He argued the results of investigations conducted by scene-of-thecrime detectives contradict what has been verified in court. He demanded for acquittal of his clients due to lack of incriminating evidence.

Barghash hearing: The Court of Cassation decides Monday on the request of former MP Abdullah Al-Barghash to change the judge in charge of a case that he and his family filed against the decision of the Cabinet to withdraw their citizenship. The Prosecution of Cassation, in its report handed to the Administrative Court of Cassation, said that the verdict of the Court of Appeals was wrong and a violation of the law. The prosecution added the verdict needs to be cancelled, pointing out each citizen has the right of litigation including petitioning against final administrative decisions. The prosecution explained the administrative decisions are not absolute as the Constitution guarantees the right of everyone to resort to the court, affirming they have the right to resort to their chosen judge. The prosecution cited Article 27 of the Constitution stating that withdrawal of citizenship must be within the limits of the law.

Appeal rejected: The Appeals Court rejected request to release the Director General of Qu’ran and Sunnah Authority who has been sentenced to 7 years in prison for misappropriating funds. The case was postponed to July 11. Earlier, the Criminal Court sentenced the director and his administrative coordinator to imprisonment and relieved them of their duties on accusations of misappropriating funds. The administrative coordinator is said to have been paid salaries while he was absent from duty for over 14 months abroad. The director of the authority was fined KD 77,000. He was also ordered to return KD 28,000 followed by deportation.

By Jaber Al-Hamoud Al-Seyassah Staff

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