A criminal court handed down the verdict on Thursday, reports local media
Bangladeshi lawmaker Mohammad Shahid Islam alias Kazi Papul has been found guilty by a court in Kuwait of human trafficking.
A criminal court headed by Counselor Abdullah Al-Othman sentenced the independent MP from Lakshmipur 2 constituency on Thursday, reports the Kuwaiti daily Al Qabas.
The suspended assistant under-secretary of Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior, Maj Gen Sheikh Mazen Al Jarrah, and the last mediator and agent were also given similar jail terms.
The convicts were also fined 1.9 million Kuwaiti dinars.
However, Kuwaiti lawmaker Saadoun Hammad and former MP Salah Khorshid, who were accused of taking 570,000 dinars in bribes from Papul, were acquitted.
The trial of Kazi Papul and eight others began in mid-September last year.
Also Read - ACC freezes 613 bank accounts of Papul’s family
According to an earlier report by Al Qabas, 20,000 Bangladeshi workers were brought to Kuwait by Papul in exchange of more than 50 million Kuwaiti dinars.
Following Papul's arrest on June 7, in Kuwait city, on charges of human trafficking and money laundering, Kuwait also suspended the major general in connection with his alleged link with human trafficking and the visa trading business of Papul.
Al Jarrah took a hefty amount of bribe from Papul, who disclosed the matter while being interrogated by the Kuwaiti authorities.
Papul was accused of bringing in thousands of Bangladeshis into Kuwait in exchange of money, usually ranging from around 1,500 to 2,000 Kuwaiti dinars, the daily reported.
Besides human trafficking and money laundering, the Kuwaiti prosecutors charged MP Papul with torturing employees of his company, based on complaints from five Bangladeshi migrant workers subjected to trafficking.
The incident stirred a political furore in Kuwait.
A migrant worker recruiter, Papul, who runs the Marafie Kuwaitia Group as managing director and CEO, resides in Kuwait under the country’s Aliens Residence Law.
The Bangladeshi lawmaker confessed to bribing Kuwait officials and his statement has been published in the media.
According to reports, Papul had an annual net profit of around two million Kuwaiti dinars after all the bribes and money spent on gifts in exchange for facilitating transactions and paperwork to bring in workers from Bangladesh.
Earlier on December 27 last year, a Dhaka court ordered freezing 617 bank accounts of Papul, his wife Selina Islam, their daughter Wafa Islam and Papul's sister-in-law Jesmin Prodhan.
Papul won the Laxmipur 2 seat in the 2018 election as an independent candidate. He also launched a successful bid to bring his wife to parliament as an MP in one of the seats reserved for women.