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Cairo: A Kuwaiti court has sentenced seven expatriates to seven years in prison with labour on charges of money laundering, fraud and blackmail.

The Criminal Court also ordered the defendants be deported after serving the terms.

The defendants included five who were tried in absentia as they are living in a European country, Kuwaiti newspaper Al Anba reported.

The case is related to a legal complaint filed by a Kuwaiti citizen to authorities that he was defrauded of KD157,000 after two expatriate women in Kuwait duped him into investing money via trading platforms abroad allegedly in return for quick profits.

Later, they threatened him with blackmail, alleging that his name was placed on terror lists, to pressure him into transferring a huge sum of money outside the country.

According to the report, the victim was also demanded to shell out more money purportedly to help remove his name from those lists.

After arrest, both women were found to have been operating as part of a Europe-based fraud ring run by five other foreigners.

The defendants were charged with money laundering, seizing the victim’s money and misuse of communication means.

The victim was initially hesitant to file a legal complaint on the grounds that the defendants are living outside the country, his lawyer Alaa Al Saeedi said. “Anyone falling victim to such crimes should not give in and has to report them to security agencies,” the lawyer was quoted as saying.