Bangladesh MP Shahid dismisses reports on his links to Kuwait human trafficking

  • Staff Correspondent,
    Published: 2020-02-17 01:49:21 BdST

Mohammad Shahid Islam, an MP from Laxmipur, has dismissed as “false and imaginary” allegations that he traffics humans to Kuwait.

Citing sources, the Kuwaiti media have also accused him of trading visas and siphoning off money to the US for laundering.

Shahid says he is not even involved in manpower export, let alone human trafficking.

Kuwaiti news outlets Daily Al-Qabas and Arab Times recently ran reports on the arrest of an unidentified Bangladeshi on charges of money laundering and trafficking in humans and trading visas.

According to Al-Qabas, the suspect is a member of a three-man racket whose other members include a Bangladeshi MP, whose wife is also an MP from the seats reserved for women.

It added that the trio occupied sensitive positions in three major companies that brought over 20,000 Bangladeshi workers into the country in exchange for large sums of money believed to be in excess of 50 million dinars.

The MP channelled the money to the US to set up a company in partnership with an American national, according to the report.

Shahid says he has no links with the man arrested in Kuwait.

The Kuwaiti media did not name the Bangladeshi MP, but the descriptions match Shahid’s profile.

Bangla-language daily Prothom Alo reported citing a source in the Bangladesh embassy in Kuwait that Shahid is the legislator in question from Laxmipur-2 seat.

A vice-chairman of NRB Commercial Bank, Shahid is also chairman of NRB Securities Exchange Company. He sits on the board of Crystal Energy Limited as a director.

With permanent resident status in Kuwait, Shahid is known as Kazi Shahid Islam Papul to his constituents.

He runs the Marafie Kuwaitia Group as managing director and CEO.

The businesses of the company with presence in Kuwait, Oman and Jordan range from waste management, cleaning and janitorial services to security solutions to heavy equipment rental to engineering.

“I don’t have any manpower company licence or office in Bangladesh. None of the Kuwaiti newspapers named me. These are false, imaginary claims. I don’t know who are doing these and why so,” he said when reached him for comments on Sunday.

About the Kuwaiti firm, Shahid said people from 29 countries work there.

He also said he does not know anyone arrested in Kuwait.

According to his website, the independent MP is chief patron of the ruling Awami League’s overseas unit in Kuwait, founder of Bangabandhu School and founding chairman of Bangladesh Community, an organisation of expatriates, in the Middle-Eastern country.