Kuwaiti prosecutors' investigation of Bangladeshi lawmaker Md Shahid Islam aka Kazi Papul, charged with human trafficking, money laundering, and exploiting his compatriot workers, revealed he had financial dealings with two current deputies and a former deputy in Kuwait's National Assembly, in addition to a controversial former officer.
The information revealed so far was just the "tip of the iceberg", in the case, which is expected to involve a number of controversial officials, the Al Rai newspaper quoted unidentified sources close to investigations as saying, reports Gulf News.
Kazi Papul reportedly admitted that he had paid huge amounts to a senior official at the Kuwaiti Interior Ministry to facilitate his business there.
"The Bangladeshi MP said he met the official once, and then dealings had been finalised through a middleman," sources told Al Rai.
The prosecution heard testimonies of dozens of Bangladeshis, who confirmed that they had paid amounts of up to 3,000 dinars in return for coming to Kuwait, and that they were also paying annual sums for renewing their residency visas.
On June 7, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Kuwait arrested Kazi Papul, member of parliament from Lakshmipur-2 constituency, on charges of human trafficking and money laundering.
The judge of Mushrif magistrate court sent him to jail denying his bail plea on the same day. And, the court denied his bail plea three times as of June 10.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Ambassador to Kuwait SM Abul Kalam said the Embassy of Bangladesh in Kuwait will not interfere with the investigation carried out by the Kuwaiti authorities against MP Papul.
Among the complaints submitted against the suspected Bangladeshi MP is that he is believed to have provided five luxury cars as bribes to government officials in Kuwait, so that he could obtain contracts for the company he runs there.
In February, Papul dismissed it as "false and imaginary" allegations that he trafficked people to Kuwait.
Kuwaiti media have also accused him of trading visas and siphoning off money to the US for laundering.
Papul told media outlets in Bangladesh that he was not even involved in manpower export, let alone human trafficking.
According to Al Qabas, the suspect is a member of a three-man racket whose other members include another Bangladeshi MP, whose wife is also an MP from the seats reserved for women.
It added that the trio occupied sensitive positions in three major companies that brought over 20,000 Bangladeshi workers into the country in exchange for large sums of money believed to be in excess of 50 million dinars ($163 million).
The MP reportedly channelled the money to the US to set up a company in partnership with an American national, according to the report.
He runs the Marafie Kuwaitia Group as managing director and chief executive officer.
The businesses of the company with presence in Kuwait, Oman and Jordan range from waste management, cleaning and janitorial services to security solutions to heavy equipment rental to engineering.