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The New Arab Staff

Kuwait investigates five social media influencers for 'money laundering'

The influencers came under suspicion over huge amounts of money in their bank accounts [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 July, 2020

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Kuwaiti authorities will reportedly issue summons warrants against the influencers after intelligence is gathered.

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Kuwaiti authorities are expected to take action against five social media influencers suspected of money laundering, according to local media.

The social media content creators came on the radar of security services due to their hugely inflated bank balances.

"Kuwait's Public Prosecution has received ten complaints against five influencers after their bank accounts dramatically inflated and summons warrants will be issued once state security intelligence is gathered," an source close to the investigations told Al Qabas.

"There are two entities that assist in confidential inquiries about the source of these funds: The investigations unit and the state security apparatus, as money laundering crimes are classified as serious state security crimes," the source added, saying that if the money is found to have been laundered, it will be seized along with assets.

Concerns that Kuwait is becoming a hotspot for corruption and money laundering have alarmed the country's rulers, with Prime Minister Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah warning that "nobody will be protected by their position or name if they have committed a crime that infringes on public money".

The Gulf state has been drawn into Malaysia's 1MDB sovereign wealth fund corruption scandal, with Kuwaiti authorities having arrested Sabah Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, a son of Kuwait's former prime minister, along with two associates just days ago in connection with the scandal.

Kuwaiti authorities are also investigating a high profile case involving Bangladeshi businessman and politician Mohammad Shahid Islam, who has been remanded on charges of human trafficking and money laundering.

In a bid to protect the state's reputation, Kuwaiti ruler Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah has urged the coutnry's Anti-Corruption Authority to also take action against false accusations of corruption.

"We have seen the spread of information throughout various social media platforms that accuses and offends Kuwait - with no credible evidence - of becoming a breeding ground for corruption," he said.

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