In unprecedented move, Bahrain arrests minister on money-laundering charges

March 19, 2010
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A Bahraini minister has been arrested on charges of alleged money-laundering, making him the first minister to be detained by Bahrain since it became independent in 1971.

The minister who was not named but referred to as “an official” by the interior ministry was arrested on Thursday evening following months of investigations and close monitoring. No figure was released about the amount of money involved in the laundering.

Al Waqt daily said that the National Security Agency on Thursday accompanied the minister from his home to his office where agents conducted a thorough search and called in his aides for further investigations.

The minister was quizzed by the NSA and later by the interior ministry’s anti-economic crime unit.

In a brief statement, the interior ministry said that an official has been arrested on the charges of money-laundering operations inside Bahrain and abroad.

Brigadier Rashid Bu Humood, the ministry’s assistant undersecretary for legal affairs, said that the authorities first noticed the suspicious activities in early 2009 and kept monitoring the suspect’s activities, meetings and communication with his aides and with the contacts abroad.

Bahrain in 2001 became the first country in the Arabian Gulf to issue a law that laid down the “legal principles and framework to ensure the disclosure of any suspicious financial activity.”

Manama is the seat of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) tasked with tackling the threat posed by money laundering and terrorist financing to countries in the Middle East and North Africa region.

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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