Kuwait Bangladesh
Al Jarrah allegedly signed off on paperwork allowing thousands of Bangladeshis to obtain work permits, as part of the Bangladeshi MP Mohammed Shahid Islam’s illegal dealings in Kuwait. Image Credit:

Kuwait City: All paperwork pertaining to Bangladeshi labourers that was signed and issued by the Assistant Under-Secretary of Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior, Major General Sheikh Mazen Al Jarrah, has been voided, Al Qabas reported.

The decision was made in order to revise all transactions between 2014 to 2018, regarding citizenship and passports, as Al Jarrah was overseeing the department during that period.

Al Jarrah allegedly signed off on paperwork allowing thousands of Bangladeshis to obtain work permits, as part of the Bangladeshi MP Mohammed Shahid Islam’s illegal dealings in Kuwait.

The Ministry of Interior is reviewing all paperwork with Al Jarrah’s signature to determine which transactions were connected to Islam.

A source told Al Qabas that Al Jarrah also signed off on paperwork allowing Syrians to enter the country on visit visas, despite the fact that Syrians were barred from entering Kuwait.

Timeline

The public prosecution detained Al Jarrah on Friday and are charging him with accepting bribes from Islam in exchange for facilitating transactions for the MP’s companies. Al Jarrah is still being held in detention. A director of a travel agency was also detained on Sunday, after the public prosecution obtained evidence tying him to the case.

On Monday the public prosecution requested the parliament lift immunity on two MPs, Saadoun Hammad and Salah Khorshid, after Islam confessed that he paid them 570,000 Kuwaiti dinars (Dh6.8 million) in exchange for facilitating transactions to recruit Bangladeshi workers.

On July 1, two government officials were arrested and sentenced to 21 days in prison. Their case is still under review by the public prosecutor.

Islam is being held in Kuwait’s central prison on three charges: human trafficking, money laundering and bribery. He was arrested on June 8. Kuwaiti authorities have frozen Islam’s bank accounts and companies to ensure that the money is not moved around beyond the jurisdiction of Kuwaiti courts.

The MP is the managing director and CEO of Marafie Kuwaitia Group, a security and labour contracting company. In addition, Islam has three other companies in Kuwait, all of which are cleaning and contracting companies.

According to a report by Al Qabas, between April and June, various government agencies extended more than four governmental contracts with Islam’s company, for cleaning and employment services. All four contracts put together total one million Kuwaiti dinars.

Islam has an annual net profit of around two million Kuwaiti dinars after all the bribes and money he spent on gifts in exchange for facilitating transactions and paperwork to bring in workers from Bangladesh. There are 350,000 Bangladeshis residing in Kuwait, according to the embassy of Bangladesh.