Probe into attempt to smuggle €500,000 out of Kuwait continues

October 8, 2013

Authorities in Kuwait are still investigating the Syrian national caught trying to smuggle €500,000 (Dh2.5 million) in cash out of the airport.

Reports in the capital Kuwait City said that the probe could incriminate local charity groups and personalities for breaking the laws that ban unlicensed fund-raising campaigns.

The Syrian reportedly initially told investigators that the money was handed over to him by Kuwaiti charity groups to distribute it among Syrian refugees in Turkey. According to other reports, the Syrian man said that he was tasked with handing the money to the leader of the Free Syrian Army in Syria.

Officers at the public prosecution are treating the case as money laundering, local Arabic daily Al Nahar reported on Monday.

Officials at the social affairs ministry said they were not involved in the investigations and that the case was seen as possibly related to money laundering or terrorism and that it was being addressed by high security authorities.

The officials said that the ministry would address the groups implicated in raising funds without acquiring the proper licence.

Licences to be revoked

The groups would have their licence revoked and would be referred to the public prosecution in cases there are charges of helping raise funds for terror-related activities, they said.

The justice ministry has repeatedly warned against raising funds without proper licensing and has insisted that it was adopting a zero-tolerance policy towards breaking the law.

On Saturday, Kuwait airport authorities urged incoming or outgoing passengers to declare large amounts of cash as well as gold they are carrying to avoid wading into legal problems.

Several groups have called for campaigns to collect money to help the Syrians fighting against the regime of President Bashar Al Assad.



About the author

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

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