Ten-year jail given for royal, his partner & 2 expats; KD145m fine

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Prosecution re-opens case; lawyer gets 7 years

KUWAIT CITY, April 1: The Criminal Court sentenced a member of the ruling family, his partner and two expatriates to 10 years in prison, and a lawyer to seven years in prison, while obliging them to return $1 billion and fined them a total of KD145 million (equivalent to half billion dollars) in the largest money laundering case known as Malaysian Fund case, reports Al-Qabas daily. The Public Prosecution reopened the case, after a two-year hiatus due to the failure to get information from international parties. The case was suspended due to lack of information during the previous period. Investigations showed that nearly a billion dollars was deposited into the account of an infl uential Kuwaiti, and then the money was re-transferred abroad.

Present at the previous session were the main suspect – the son of the former prime minister – and two other defendants; while Bashar Kiwan, another defendant, failed to appear because of the criminal rulings issued against him in absentia, and he, being a foreigner, has yet to step into Kuwait. Police officer Nasser Al-Tayyar attended the session with his lawyer Amer Al-Shahoumi and claimed for civil temporary compensation of KD 5,001 in his capacity as supervisor of the first investigation team and director of the Anti- Money Laundering Department, something that can be considered a precedent in the Kuwaiti judiciary.

The prosecution charged the three defendants with being an organized criminal group that committed money laundering in Chinese currency equivalent to 343 million yuan (KD700,000). This money came from theft of funds and investments of the Malaysian Sovereign Fund. It indicated that one of the defendants obtained this money through the bank accounts of the company he owns and his personal accounts in the branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in the State of Kuwait, through which he made transfers using a complex network of financial operations between his accounts and a company account in the Cayman Islands. Two defendants were charged with money laundering amounting to KD21 million — stolen from the investments of the Malaysian Sovereign Fund.

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