Cairo: Kuwait’s top appeals court has sentenced seven expatriates, working at foreign exchange offices, to 10 years in prison each on charges of money laundering, Kuwait media reported.
The court of Cassation also ordered the seven and three forex firms implicated in the case to pay a combined fine of KD60 million (Dh715.7 million) as part of the final rulings.
The case was dubbed as the biggest money laundering ring in the forex sector in Kuwait.
The defendants, whose nationalities were not given, were charged with forming an organised criminal group that was involved in money laundering crimes estimated at KD60 million.
They were also accused of harming the country’s national interests by setting up a massive illegal system outside the state oversight watchdogs’ supervision.
In recent years, Kuwait has stepped up anti-corruption efforts and handed down varying jail sentences to defendants in high-profile cases.
Last month, a Kuwaiti court sentenced an ex-government minister to seven years in prison on charges of profiteering through a business contract, harming public money and influence peddling.
The court, hearing cases involving government officials, handed down similar sentences to a former ministerial undersecretary and an ex-head of the Federation of Cooperative Societies in the same case linked to assigning a government tender to a company without following legal procedures to make personal gains.
Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai identified the ex-minister as Mubarak Alarou, who served as minister of social affairs from December 2021 to August 2022.
In October, a Kuwaiti court sentenced an Egyptian expatriate to 15 years in prison and ordered him to pay a fine of KD1 million after he had been convicted of embezzling money of the Kuwaiti Teachers’ Association where he had worked as a financial manager.
Also in October, Kuwait’s top appeals court confirmed jailing terms and dismissal of seven ex-judges on charges of corruption in a case that erupted around three years ago.
The Court of Cassation upheld imprisoning the ex- judges for terms ranging from seven to 15 years, expelling them from their jobs and confiscating cars they had received as bribes in a case linked to an Iranian businessman.