KUWAIT: The public prosecution pressed charges in a case that was filed based on a complaint from a group of individuals who claim that they were conned by real estate fraudsters. The prosecutor’s report indicated that the company in question committed money laundering crimes that amount to around KD 1.8 million. The accused company officials reportedly obtained the money by tricking victims into believing that they own residential and touristic housing units, which is contrary to the truth.

The public prosecution said that the first accused, an expatriate, used his authorization to manage and sign at two local banks on behalf of the company, to obtain the money and transfer it from the company’s account to his own, and then to bank accounts he owns in Germany and Turkey, in an attempt to cover up the illegal activity.

“The funds were deposited in personal accounts of the accused after they made victims believe they owned licensed projects that were promoted during real estate exhibitions held between 2014 and 2019,” Coordinator of the plaintiff group Hassan Al-Bahrani said. He added that the court, during its first session, charged the company officials; an expat and a Kuwaiti with money laundering, scam and embezzling a total of KD 1.860 million.

Bahrani said that the group he represents contributed largely by helping the victims to formulate and present the complaint to the prosecution and commerce ministry, so the prosecution could carry out its investigations, during which it found the amount of money deposited in the accused’s personal accounts at 17 million Qatari Riyals, 139,000 Kuwaiti Dinars, 615,000 Euros, and 24,000 Bahraini Dinars.

He said with this case, the number of companies that are sent to the criminal court on money laundering charges reached is seven, with a total embezzled amount of more than half a billion dinars, while the number of affected persons reached more than 10,000 citizens and expats. He said the group filed complaints against more than 63 companies, which are under investigation at the public prosecution, noting that the investigation reports are expected to be sent to the criminal court soon. – Al-Qabas