'We know nothing officially from the Kuwait government and it is hard to comment on this without an official response'
Lakshmipur lawmaker Md Shahid Islam alias Papul has revealed three Kuwaiti high officials’ name who had financial dealings with him during the ongoing interrogation in the gulf state as Dhaka denied any knowledge of the MP’s arrest, ten days after he was detained in Kuwait.
Papul, an independent member of parliament elected from Lakshmipur 2 constituency, was arrested by Kuwait authorities on June 7 from his residence in capital, Kuwait City.
Papul’s detailed confession of providing 1.1 million Kuwaiti dinar to one of the ministries’ high level official, a civil servant and an official of the interior ministry, reports Arab Times.
The prosecution decided to continue the detention of Papul and Murtaza Mamun, a close associate of Papul, for human trafficking and money laundering to complete the investigation.
Bangladesh government has claimed that it has no knowledge of the arrest of it’s one of the members of parliament in Kuwait and got all information on the incident from media reports alone.
"We know nothing officially from the Kuwait government and it is hard to comment on this without an official response,” Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told the Dhaka Tribune over the phone on Tuesday.
“We asked the ambassador in Kuwait to find out more about the incident, but apparently, he failed. Kuwait authorities did not entertain special requests from the ambassador, and they were not pressed either,” he said.
However, the ambassador verbally notified the ministry that Kuwait is currently under lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic, making it difficult to find any information.
According to Arab Times, Papul confessed that he handed a cheque of 1.1 million Kuwaiti dinars to an interior ministry employee in exchange for bringing numbers of Bangladeshi workers to Kuwait.
He also showed a copy of the cheque previously received by the employee who was completing the transactions for him.
Among the complaints submitted against the suspected Lakshmipur 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.
Kuwaiti media have also accused him of trading visas and siphoning off money to the US for laundering.
However, Papul’s lawyer Nasser Al-Hasban demanded that the accused “be released from any guarantee that he is a MP in his country and will not flee in light of the current conditions.”
In February, Papul dismissed as “false and imaginary” allegations that he trafficked people to Kuwait.
He told reporters, “He was not even involved in manpower export, let alone human trafficking.”