Kuwait City: Saud Abdul Mohsen, a Kuwaiti lawyer, has been added to the list of suspects in relation to the Malaysian fund scandal, Al Qabas reported. Abdul Mohsen is the third suspect involved in the case, along with Sheikh Sabah Al Mubarak Al Sabah, son of the former prime minister, and Hamad Al Wazzan, Al Sabah’s business partner. A source revealed to Al Qabas that a fourth suspect, another lawyer, will likely be added to the list in the next few days. This is one of the largest money laundering probe in Kuwait, Al Qabas mentioned.
The public prosecution has revealed that 7 transfers were made from the suspects’ accounts to accounts outside Kuwait, total around 1.25 billion Kuwaiti dinars ($4.06 billion).
In addition, documents surfaced showing that Al Sabah received $343 million on August 26, 2018 and then a few days later transferred $240 million to an offshore account, Al Qabas reported.
According to a report by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Al Sabah was laundering money for Jho Low, the prime suspect in the 1Malaysian Development Berhad (1MBD) case.
The WSJ pointed out that Malaysian investigators were able to trace the money that was moved between China, Kuwait and offshore accounts to Low. The money, approximately $1 billion, passed through Kuwait and was then sent to the Cayman Islands to pay off Low’s assets in Malaysia.
Al Sabah and A Wazzan were arrested on Wednesday night on charges of money laundering. The public prosecution issued a warrant against Al Sabah a few hours before his arrest. Before his arrest in a few hours, Al Wazzan spoke with Sarawak Report, expressing his concern that he will become the scapegoat in the case. Although Al Wazzan was notified about the warrant on Al Sabah, he said he was not called in for questioning and that he was optimistic, Sarawak reported. Al Wazzan admitted to Sarawak that he didn’t know the entirety of Low’s activity in Kuwait and that they were friends, not business partners. Low and Al Wazzan’s friendship began in the United States, where the two had been studying at university.
Both Al Wazzan and Al Sabah had been questioned back in 2018 for their involvement in the case. They denied knowledge about the topic and the case was shut.
The issue resurfaced when the cabinet of ministers began reviewing reports that were allegedly linking a Chinese company and the former Malaysian government to a Kuwait-based company.
All three are suspects in the 1MBD scandal that began when then-prime minister Najib Razak transferred money from the state-owned investment fund, 1Malaysian Development Berhad, to his personal account.
The suspects are currently being questioned by the public prosecution to determine the extent of their involvement in the case.