Cairo: Kuwaiti authorities had detained five more suspects in connection to alleged financing of Lebanon’s Iran-allied Hezbollah group, raising the total number of suspects in the high-profile case to 23, according to a Kuwaiti newspaper.
Investigations are under way with the new suspects after an investigative judge has already ordered extending remand of 12 other suspects until December 13 in the “state security” case, Al Qabas reported, citing what it termed as a close source. Remand of other suspects is expected to be extended.
The new suspects have denied involvement, saying they pursued charity work and did not offer financing Hezbollah.
Last month, Kuwait dismantled a cell suspected of having links with Hezbollah, according to local media.
The arrests were made after authorities received a security report from an unspecified “sisterly” country, Al Seyassah newspaper said at the time.
The suspects included a son of a Kuwaiti ex-lawmaker and a brother of another, it said.
The suspects were questioned by the Kuwaiti State Security Service on charges including money laundering for Hezbollah and encouraging young Kuwaitis to collaborate with the Lebanese movement, carry out terror acts and smuggle drugs in Syria and Yemen.
The paper said the suspects had admitted in investigations that they had collected donations in mosques in Kuwait without approval from authorities.
The case surfaced amid a sharp diplomatic crisis between the Gulf countries, including Kuwait, with Lebanon after its Information Minister George Kordahi had made remarks supporting Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi rebels.