Bahrain arrests two nationals for taking money from Qatar to influence elections

Ismaeel Naar
Ismaeel Naar - Senior Journalist, Al Arabiya English
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Bahrain has arrested two nationals who raised and received money from a former Qatari minister in their bid to influence the upcoming parliamentary elections.

The news was confirmed by Advocate General Dr. Ahmed Al Hammadi who said the Public Prosecution has now launched an investigation into a notification by the Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID) regarding the two Bahraini nationals.

“It has been found out that the two nationals received money from former Qatari minister Abdullah bin Khalid Al Thani through their bank accounts or by occasionally going to Qatar to receive the money in cash. Investigations showed that one of the two nationals received from the Qatari former minister sums of money to run for the parliamentary elections set to be held this year and to support his electoral campaign. Intensive investigation into the suspects' relation with the Qatari official, the purpose of receiving money from him and the motive behind funding the electoral campaign of one of the suspects revealed that the aim was to undermine the national interests by interfering in the internal affairs of the kingdom and influencing the work of the legislative institutions to serve the Qatari antagonistic goals,” a statement on Bahrain News Agency read.

A judicial permission was issued to control and record telephone calls between the suspects which confirmed the investigations, the statement added.

The two suspects were arrested at Bahrain International Airport upon their return from Qatar with more than BD 12,000 and 500 Qatari Riyals in their possession without claiming them at the Customs Department.

Bahrain’s Public Prosecution has ordered to hold them in custody pending investigation after charging them with exchanging intelligence information with someone working for a foreign country to undermine the national interests. The suspects were also accused of illegally receiving money without claiming it at the Customs Department. The Public Prosecution also ordered confiscation of the money and investigation of the number of people implicated in the case.

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