Monday, September 21, 2020 | ePaper

Trial against Papul begins in Kuwait court on Sept 17

He charged with money laundering, human trafficking, visa trading and bribery

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Staff Reporter :
A Kuwait court is going to start trial proceedings of Bangladeshi imprisoned MP Md Shahid Islam alias Kazi Papul who was charged with money laundering, human trafficking, visa trading and bribery.
On June 6 Kuwaiti government issued an arrest warrant against MP Papul. The law enforcers have already arrested few of Papul's company officials including his chief accountant.
Md Shahid Islam alias Kazi Papul is an independent lawmaker from Lakshmipur-2 constituency in Bangladesh Parliament.
Currently the lawmaker is staying in Kuwait central prison and facing the investigation of public prosecution department of Kuwait.
In independent Bangladesh history no Bangladeshi Parliamentarian had faced trial in the other country. From this point of view it is a unique incident as well as a matter of shame for Bangladesh also.
A Kuwaiti private ownership online portal published the news mentioning credential sources.
Few of Kuwaiti officials including two Kuwaiti law makers have also been accused in the case.
Arabic-language newspaper Al-Qabas on June 15 reported that Papul denied all allegations against him.
But he administered that he has gifted 50 thousand Dinars or $1.63 lakh to three high officials as the symbol of friendship.
The investigators have recorded statements of 11 people in connection with the case, according to the local media.   
The prosecution brought the charges after hearing testimonies of five Bangladeshis. They alleged having paid up to 3,000 Dinars in exchange for coming to Kuwait. They were also paying annual sums for renewing their residency visas, Gulf News said.
He is managing director and CEO of Marafie Kuwaitia Group. Around 20,000 Bangladeshis work at Marafie.   
The businesses of the company in Kuwait, Oman and Jordan range from waste management, cleaning and janitorial services to security solutions to heavy equipment rental to engineering.
Lakshmipur- 2 constituency MP (independent) Mohammad Shahid Islam alias Papul was not well-known in his village before 2016. He drew attention of the people setting up a charity organisation for his mother during the Eid-ul-Azha that year.
He spent a lot of money for the people and then backed by local Awami League leader was elected as a member of the parliament from Lakshmipur-2 (Raipur upazila and a section of sadar upazila) independently.
Shahid's wife Selina Islam too was named an independent MP of a reserved seat for women. The locals consider that influential leaders of Awami League had contributed for the couple being MPs.
On 6 June, Shahid, known as a philanthropist in his village, was detained in Kuwait for human trafficking and money laundering.
According to locals, Shahid went to Kuwait in 1989 for a job of supervisor at an institution. He was almost penniless at that time. However, he had to return home after the invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
After the situation in Kuwait turned normal, Shahid went there again with the assistance of his brother Kazi Monzurul Alam, general secretary of Kuwait BNP (Bangladesh Nationalist Party).
Shahid left the village around 30 years ago, said Mohammad Shamsu from Moddho Keroa village of Raipur. His financial condition suddenly swelled after he began human trafficking, he said.
The lawmaker began sending hundreds of people to Kuwait from Lakshmipur and Cumilla on the promise of employment. He started manpower export using the name of Marafie Kuwaitia Group where he had worked once.
The MP used to donate a lot of money before the election, but stopped once being elected as the MP, said Rubel Uddin, a student of Raipur Government College.
Shahid favoured Awami League men more and bought some youths motorcycles before the election, said Anwar Hossain from Tawapatti, Raipur, adding that the lawmaker would often come to the area on helicopter.
"Awami League had left the constituency of Lakshmipur-2 to a Jatiya Party candidate who became inactive 9 days prior to the election. We had then worked for Shahid according to the order of party alliance," said Ismail Khokon, mayor of Raipur municipality, adding, "Shahid spent millions to become an MP. But we were no longer in good terms after he was elected."

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