Kuwait to examine amending money laundering, terrorism financing law

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Kuwait’s Minister of Finance Barrak al-Sheetan issued a ministerial resolution for setting up a panel to examine the amendment of the country’s money laundering and terrorism financing law, state news agency KUNA reported on Tuesday.

The move comes after recent reports of arresting a group of 10 social media influencers who were investigated for money laundering and the authorities took several actions against them as the investigations continue.

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Al-Sheetan told KUNA the panel “will examine shortcomings in existing legislations and propose adequate modifications to enhance efficiency of the financial inspection team personnel, back up their independence, boost their jurisdictions and tools for attaining the aspired objective.”

Influencers pursued in Kuwait

Earlier this week, Kuwait’s Attorney General ordered the immediate seizure of all the assets of the 10 social media influencers charged with money laundering and banned them from travel, according to local media.

The central bank froze the 10 suspects’ bank accounts and the Ministry of Interior circulated their names to all authorities at land border crossings and airports to ensure they cannot flee.

Leading Kuwaiti newspaper, al-Qabas released the names of the 10 influencers accused of money laundering, citing an unnamed source, they are: Fouz al-Fahad, Abdulwahab al-Essa, Dana al-Tuwarish, Mishari Buyabis, Halema Bouland, Maryam Reda, Farah Hadi, Jamal al-Najada, Shifa al-Kharaz, and Yaqub Boushehri.

The newspaper cited sources close to the current investigation as saying that the total balances of the 10 suspects’ frozen accounts amounted to approximately 30 million dinars ($98 million), while the value of the personal assets of some of them is six times that amount.

The report listed some of those assets as real estate in Kuwait and abroad, rare jewelry, yachts, and expensive watches.

Kuwait’s authorities did not issue an official public statement on the case yet, but the Ministry of Justice included several articles by local media reporting the developments of the investigation in its daily newsletter.

Read more:

Frozen bank accounts, travel ban: Kuwait pursues 10 influencers for money laundering

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