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Verdict upheld, Kuwaiti citizen acquitted

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Human peddling charges filed

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 9: The Court of Cassation upheld the verdict issued by a lower court which acquitted a Kuwaiti citizen who was accused of human trafficking, coercing victims to waive their dues, money laundering, forgery of bank notes, and theft.

The Public Prosecution had charged the citizen and others with several allegations including human trafficking, participation in coercing workers to prove that they had waived their labor dues, illegal confiscation of their passports, participation in the crime of forgery of bank papers, theft from the company employees’ bank accounts, and money laundering with the amounts, the total value of which was revealed in the investigation documents, in exchange for bringing the victims to Kuwait.

Lawyer Dr. Fawaz Al-Khatib, who represented the first defendant at the Criminal Court, stressed that there were no accusations against his client, and that the text of the incrimination did not apply to the facts attributed to him, highlighting the lack of criminal intent for the charges in question. He explained that the accusation regarding the confiscation of workers’ passports is contrary to what is stated in the official papers because of the workers’ overseas travel repeatedly, and because the workers’ wages are in line with the decision related to the minimum wage. The non-payment of wages and salaries dues to workers is in fact a civil dispute with which workers have the right to claim their financial dues. It has not been proven in the papers to force workers to use the means of coercion specified by law to work at low wages, which is not less than the minimum wage established in the private sector. By Jaber Al-Hamoud Al-Seyassah Staff

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