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Monday , January 27 2020

Jail, fine & deportation ruled out against expat


KUWAIT CITY, Aug 22: The Court of Cassation nullified the verdict of Misdemeanor Court of Appeals that sentenced an expatriate to four years in prison with KD5,000 fine and deportation after serving the term for practicing pharmacy and dispensing medicines without license. The Public Prosecution Department charged the suspect for illegitimate practice as a pharmacist and engaging in the sale of medicines without license, because he isn’t register with the Ministry of Health. He was also accused of selling pharmaceutical products and other health related products deemed unfit for human consumption and hazardous to health. He purportedly had knowledge of the implication of adulteration and non validity and yet created a store for safe keeping of those items without official authorization. Lawyer Talal Al-Enezi in defense of the suspect argued the allegations against his client were fraught with ambiguities and considered a setup. He explained the circumstances leading to his client’s arrest and urged the court to declare him innocent of all allegations and the court granted his plea.

Hearing on Monday: The Criminal Court has set the court session of next Monday to commence the trial of the suspects involved in the real estate fraud and money laundering case of amounts exceeding KD 72 million. The Public Prosecution had referred to the court a complaint lodged by a group of affected citizens. The case was filed against a foreign real-estate investment company and the suspects, including a Kuwaiti citizen, his wife and a group of expatriates, were accused of money laundering, fraud and swindling citizens and residents. Coordinator of the bloc of affected citizens Eng Hassan Al-Bahrani affirmed in a press statement issued on Monday that the bloc would not have achieved so much if not for the cooperation of the victims and their determination to protect their rights. This contributed to shedding light on the extent of the problem and its details for the concerned authorities. Eng Al-Bahrani said the coordination among the concerned authorities played an active role in disclosing the facts within a short period. He stressed the need for the victims to continue cooperating and for other victims of this scandal to come forward to join the bloc. Eng Al-Bahrani revealed that the number of victims so far is 180 but the actual number of victims of this company’s scandal is estimated to be more than 1,000. He said the bloc will continue coordinating with the concerned authorities to lighten the damages on those who are dealing with this company especially in the US and start demanding compensation for the damages incurred by the victims. Eng Al-Bahrani expressed appreciation, on behalf of the bloc, to Minister of Commerce and Industry Khaled Al-Roudhan for his personal efforts in directing officials of his ministry to dig up data and information required in the investigations. He called on Ministry of Foreign Affairs to positively respond to this case through its missions abroad, considering the location of the real estate that were sold to victims; whereby the jurisdiction of the ministry lies in that avenue. He added that the reputation of Kuwait has been painted black because of the fraud transactions of the abovementioned company. On his part, Lawyer Ali Al-Attar explained that the case was referred to the court after the bloc of citizens and residents provided all the necessary evidences, proofs and documents that confirm suspicions of money laundering operations carried out by the company through fraudulent means to deceive their clients (victims) into buying real estate abroad. Majority of the real estate properties turned out to be very old and in a very bad condition, while quite a number of them are actually non-existent.

By Jaber Al-Hamoud Al-Seyassah Staff

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