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MP slams ‘money laundering’ influencers

MP Riyadh Al-Adasani

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: MP Riyadh Al-Adasani called yesterday on authorities to boost monitoring of suspected money laundering operations and urged them to refer such issues to the public prosecution. His comments came after public prosecutor Dherar Al-Asousi issued a decision to freeze the accounts of a company and 10 popular influencers and ban them from leaving the country. The decision was taken over reports by the finance ministry’s financial intelligence unit, which constantly monitors any suspicious bank account movements.

The 10 influencers are very famous in Kuwait and some of them are TV presenters. Adasani recalled that he had cautioned authorities in Dec 2018 about the suspicious activities of such influencers, saying that transactions by some of them exceeded KD 5 million a year, which is a lot bigger than their type of business. He said some of the suspects made highly suspicious financial transactions that indicated some illegal business behind them, adding that they have been dealing with unlicensed companies abroad.

Head of the National Assembly committee that investigated alleged violations in the oil sector, MP Al-Humaidi Al-Subaei, yesterday launched a scathing attack on the CEO of Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) Hashem Hashem over the investigation report. The committee demanded in its reports that a large number of former and present executives in the oil sector should be referred to the public prosecution over alleged financial violations.

Hashem responded by criticizing the report, saying most of its findings were based on old remarks by the Audit Bureau, adding that the oil sector can easily refute the allegations, preferably to a neutral committee. But Subaei said that if Hashem is right, he should take the report to the Supreme Petroleum Council, the highest oil decision-making body in the country, which is headed by the prime minister. Subaei also warned that if the government does not take the report seriously, the prime minister could be grilled.

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