Details of human trafficking in Kuwait which saw the arrest of an MP from Bangladesh suggests that the scandal is not simply a case of one single rouge lawmaker.
It now seems that Dhaka’s very own ambassador to the Gulf state is embroiled in criminal activity normally associated with the criminal underworld.
Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen was forced to issue a warning against the country’s Ambassador to Kuwait, SM Abul Kalam, for his alleged involvement in human trafficking, which saw the arrest of Mohammad Shahid Islam in June for a host of offences
About the allegations against the envoy, the Minister said: “The government maintains zero tolerance against money laundering and human trafficking.” Punishment is a must, no matter which party they belong to, he added.
The contractual appointment of Kalam ends this month and he will come back to Bangladesh, the minister said. “We have finalised the next Ambassador for Kuwait.”
About Independent Bangladesh lawmaker Mohammad Shahid Islam Papul, who was arrested in Kuwait on human trafficking charges and money laundering, the Foreign Minister said the Kuwait government is yet to intimate them officially, and steps will be taken as per the laws of the land after this.
On June 6, Kuwait’s Criminal Investigation Department arrested Papul on charges of human trafficking, visa trading, and money laundering and he soon landed in the jail there.
Asserting that the government is trying to stop human trafficking and money laundering, Momen that that Papul did not go to Kuwait on a government passport and was arrested by the Kuwaiti government as its citizen.
Kuwaiti media has also accused him of trading visas and siphoning off money to the US for laundering. One source reported that the suspect is a member of a three-man racket whose other members include a Bangladeshi MP, whose wife is also an MP.
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.