Names on Pablo’s ‘trea­sure’ cell

Min­istries ... Na­tional As­sem­bly

Arab Times - - FRONT PAGE -

KUWAIT CITY, June 29: The in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the Bangladesh­i res­i­dent, who is also known as ‘Pablo’ has opened a can of worms, re­ports Al-Seyas­sah daily.

‘Pablo’, who is be­ing held pend­ing ac­cu­sa­tions of money laun­der­ing and hu­man traf­fick­ing, se­cu­rity sources con­firmed that un­load­ing the mo­bile phone con­tents of the ac­cused re­vealed a lot of facts and in­for­ma­tion and is seen as a ‘trea­sure for in­ves­ti­ga­tion agen­cies’ since it in­cludes the names of se­nior of­fi­cials in the min­istries of In­te­rior and So­cial Af­fairs and mem­bers of the Na­tional As­sem­bly.

From the se­cu­rity as­pect, the sources ex­pect the Deputy Prime Min­is­ter and Min­is­ter of In­te­rior Anas Al-Saleh, soon to is­sue a de­ci­sion to sus­pend a ‘prom­i­nent se­nior of­fi­cial’ from work af­ter his name popped up dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tions as one of the sus­pects. His sec­re­tary has been charged with re­ceiv­ing bribes and banned from travel.

Ac­cord­ing to the se­cu­rity sources the se­nior of­fi­cial’s sec­re­tary has ad­mit­ted to re­ceiv­ing bribes in ‘cash’ from the Bangladesh­i (Pablo). The money was de­posited in the ac­count of a pri­vate com­pany which he owns and then the money was cashed on the strength of checks is­sued in the name of the se­nior of­fi­cial in such a man­ner that there was no di­rect re­la­tion­ship be­tween the ‘se­nior of­fi­cial’ and the Bangladesh­i.

The Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tion Of­fice has con­firmed the state­ments made by the sec­re­tary re­gard­ing the ac­counts and checks. The sources said the se­nior of­fi­cial has con­trib­uted to the is­suance of 23,000 en­try visas for Bangladesh­is.

The se­nior of­fi­cial is said to have used his po­si­tion to by­pass an ear­lier de­ci­sion which for­bid is­suance of visas to cit­i­zens of Bangladesh, dur­ing his ten­ure in of­fice.

The same sources con­firmed on the list of the ac­cused is an as­sis­tant un­der­sec­re­tary at the Min­istry of So­cial Af­fairs, who is still un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion by pros­e­cu­tion, not­ing all peo­ple – se­nior of­fi­cials work­ing for state agen­cies – who ap­pear in the pic­tures and videos found on the phone of the Bangladesh­i are be­ing sum­moned for in­ter­ro­ga­tion.

The sources em­pha­sized the re­cent de­vel­op­ments will have strong re­ac­tions in re­la­tion to the over­all em­ploy­ment file, ex­pect­ing de­ci­sions to be is­sued soon to re­or­ga­nize the la­bor mar­ket, most no­tably the re­duc­tion in the num­ber of ex­pa­tri­ates in gov­ern­ment con­tracts, which may in­clude: stop­ping the im­port la­bor from Bangladesh Ben­gali and pre­vent the is­suance of visit visas to the Egyp­tians.

On the po­lit­i­cal front there are clear in­di­ca­tions that the ‘Bangladesh­i’ is­sue has opened the door for a ‘rag­ing war’ as the par­lia­men­tary elec­tions are just a few months away un­der the slo­gan ‘hit­ting openly be­low the belt’.

Par­lia­men­tary sources have con­firmed that the Speaker of the Na­tional As­sem­bly Mar­zouk Al-Ghanem re­ceived yes­ter­day, a let­ter from the Min­is­ter of Jus­tice and the Min­is­ter of Awqaf and Is­lamic Af­fairs Dr Fa­had Al-Afasi in­clud­ing two re­quests from the Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tion to lift the im­mu­nity of two MPs, one from the First Con­stituency and the sec­ond from the Third Con­stituency on charges of money laun­der­ing and visa trad­ing, not­ing that the re­quest did not in­clude the name of the third MP from the Fourth Con­stituency de­spite the fact that his name has sur­faced dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Pablo, who is a Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment in Bangladesh and al­legedly owns a clean­ing com­pany in part­ner­ship with a Kuwaiti, is ac­cused of money laun­der­ing and hu­man traf­fick­ing.

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