STOCK jailed prison handcuff crime arrest
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Cairo: A Kuwaiti court has sentenced an expatriate to 10 years in prison on charges of embezzling state money allotted for overseas medical treatment.

The Egyptian expatriate, tried in absentia, was accused of embezzling KD6.7 million after having forged medical treatment bills pertaining to 1,942 patients, Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai reported.

The Criminal Court also ordered the defendant to pay a fine of KD6 million.

The court also sentenced a health official to seven years in jail and ordered him to pay a fine of KD300,000 in the same case.

The official had bought a building valued at KD70,000 and travel tickets of KD44,000, according to the court.

In recent years, Kuwait has stepped up anti-corruption efforts and handed down varying jail sentences to defendants in high-profile cases.

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.

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 sacking 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, dismissing them from their jobs and confiscating cars they had received as bribes in a case linked to an Iranian businessman.