Cairo: Investigators in Kuwait are interrogating four former ministers over alleged seizure of public money, according to a Kuwait newspaper.
An investigative committee, in charge of handling cases against government officials, is questioning the four in connection to reports filed against them.
The panel has already referred one case to a court responsible for trying government officials and requested one ex-minister be penalised after charging him with seizing public money and influence peddling, the paper quoted an unidentified source.
The official in question whose name was not revealed had illegally obtained two industrial vouchers and written them in the name of a military retiree to avoid exposure to the law.
The case surfaced after the accomplice had sold one voucher and transferred KD700,000 (Dh8.35 million) into the ex-official’s bank account.
The same official is accused of using public money to buy an apartment in London, the source added.
The identities of the other three ex-officials were not given.
In recent years, Kuwait has stepped up anti-corruption efforts and handed down varying jail sentences to defendants in high-profile cases.
Last December, Kuwait’s top appeals court sentenced seven expatriates, working at foreign exchange offices, to 10 years in prison each on charges of money laundering.
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 Kuwait’s forex sector.
In November, 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.