Fault found in money trans­fers

Arab Times - - FRONT PAGE -

By Saeed Mah­moud Saleh

KUWAIT CITY, Aug 8: The gov­ern­ment’s state­ment that Kuwait has noth­ing to do with the is­sue of the Malaysian sov­er­eign fund is an early judg­ment, says MP Dr Adel Al-Damkhi.

He won­dered how Kuwait has noth­ing to do with the is­sue de­spite the fact that a num­ber of coun­tries called Kuwaiti banks about the sus­pi­cious money trans­fers.

He dis­closed that on Oct 4, 2016; Kuwait Fi­nan­cial In­ves­ti­ga­tions Unit (KFIU) re­ceived in­for­ma­tion from the In­dus­trial and Com­mer­cial Bank of China (ICBC) about sus­pi­cious bank­ing op­er­a­tions in re­la­tion to one of the ac­cused – a sheikh and his Syr­ian part­ner. He said the rel­e­vant lo­cal bank in­formed KFIU that the sus­pi­cion may not be re­lated to money laun­der­ing, but it could be about a dis­pute be­tween these two ac­cused.

He added that on Nov 30, 2016; KFIU re­ceived a call from a lo­cal bank about the same in­di­vid­u­als, stat­ing the de­posits in the bank ac­counts of the com­pany of the two ac­cused wit­nessed un­jus­ti­fied growth. KFIU also re­ceived a sim­i­lar call on Dec 11, 2016 about the same is­sue.

He also con­firmed that on July 24, 2017; KFIU sub­mit­ted a re­port on all the above­men­tioned calls to the Min­istry of In­te­rior as the lat­ter is one of the con­cerned au­thor­i­ties. The KFIU then re­ceived the re­sponse of the min­istry, which re­vealed no money laun­der­ing crimes were found and the en­tire is­sue is about a fi­nan­cial dis­pute be­tween the two ac­cused, he said.

He went on to say that on Sept 10, 2017; KFIU re­ceived a call from ICBC about the money laun­der­ing sus­pi­cion as a large amount was trans­ferred to the ac­count of a com­pany, which is owned by one of the ac­cused (sheikh) and the money was later trans­ferred to an ac­count out­side Kuwait. After this, the unit re­ceived an­other call from ICBC about the money that the afore­men­tioned com­pany trans­ferred to MCAL Com­pany in Ba­hamas Is­land. It was found later that the money was pay­ment for a ship­ment of items pur­chased by the sheikh on be­half of an­other party. The deal was can­celled but the money was not re­turned to the bank ac­count of the com­pany, he nar­rated.

He re­vealed that on July 12, 2018; KFIU sub­mit­ted a re­port to the min­istry which re­sponded on July 24, 2018 say­ing the ac­cused owns the Silk Road Com­pany and the min­istry did not take any ac­tion. He said the unit later re­ceived a call from an­other lo­cal bank about the sus­pi­cious trans­ac­tion, in­di­cat­ing a large amount of money was trans­ferred by the Syr­ian part­ner to yet an­other ac­cused with­out jus­ti­fi­ca­tion. He added the KFIU sub­mit­ted its re­port in this re­gard to the min­istry; which re­sponded on Jan 7, 2019 stat­ing that the money is part of a law firm’s charges.

He af­firmed that the banks per­formed their du­ties but KFIU did not do its job prop­erly; be­cause the unit in­formed only the min­istry, not the other con­cerned au­thor­i­ties such as the Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tion. He said the unit should have in­formed all the rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties re­gard­less of the re­sponse of the min­istry. He called for ques­tion­ing those re­spon­si­ble at KFIU and the min­istry for their fail­ure to re­fer the files to the Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tion, in­di­cat­ing the files were re­ferred to the pros­e­cu­tion only dur­ing the ten­ure of Fi­nance Min­is­ter Bar­rak Al-Shi­tan.

In an­other de­vel­op­ment, MP Ahmed AlFadl ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion over the Na­tional Assem­bly’s de­ci­sion to re­ject the gov­ern­men­tal bill that al­lows pri­vate sec­tor em­ploy­ers to re­duce salaries by 50 per­cent dur­ing the com­pul­sory lock­down.

He said the gov­ern­ment, rep­re­sented by Min­is­ter of So­cial Af­fairs Mariam Al-Aqeel, did not con­sider the grad­ual pro­ce­dures adopted by the whole world un­der such cir­cum­stances. He as­serted that salary re­duc­tion is the last re­sort, point­ing out the first step should be for com­pa­nies to ra­tio­nal­ize ex­pen­di­tures such as can­cel­ing the priv­i­leges granted to the board of di­rec­tors in­clud­ing first class air tick­ets and rental of lux­ury ve­hi­cles for the se­nior staff. He added these com­pa­nies should also can­cel cel­e­bra­tions and unim­por­tant ac­tiv­i­ties be­fore re­duc­ing salaries.

He em­pha­sized the need for the gov­ern­ment to quickly in­ject cash into com­pa­nies af­fected by the cri­sis, in ad­di­tion to grant­ing them other forms of sup­port like loans. He stressed that sup­port­ing com­pa­nies will bear fruits such as boost­ing the mar­ket as this step will re­flect pos­i­tively on the work­ers. He claimed Al-Aqeel goes against the di­rec­tion of her press state­ments and de­ci­sions.

Mean­while, MP Riyadh Al-Adasani dis­closed some MPs are claim­ing that Min­is­ter of Fi­nance Bar­rak Al-Shi­tan is not re­spon­si­ble for the eco­nomic doc­u­ment as it con­sists of neg­a­tive points con­cern­ing other min­istries. He ar­gued the min­is­ter is re­spon­si­ble for lay­ing down the fi­nan­cial strat­egy, fi­nal ac­count and bud­get of the State.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.