In a major money laundering case involving real estate fraud, the Kuwaiti Criminal Court has sentenced a fugitive businesswoman and an expatriate man who are still on the run to seven years in prison, local media reported.
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The duo were also fined 29 million dinars (approximately $95 million), $361,000, 642,0000 euros, and 168,000 pounds sterling.
The court also ordered the convicts to compensate each of 28 of their victims with 5,001 dinars, which would allow them to further sue the convicts in civil courts, demanding compensation for financial and other damages sustained.
The ruling may be challenged before the Court of Appeals.
According to the court records, the convicts practiced propaganda activities through real estate investment exhibitions, marketing housing and investment units in several foreign and Arab countries, and appearing in those exhibitions as the owner.
The victims through those fairs paid millions of their hard-earned money to buy those units, and investment in them.
“It was confirmed that the first and second defendants had committed the money laundering crime assigned to them, since it is proven from the papers that they opened accounts with various local banks, and it was found that the financial flows into these accounts and transfers abroad were unusually huge, which indicates that the account is a vessel for the transfer of funds,” the court said.
The court confirmed that the defendants sought to conceal the sources of these illegal funds through those financial transfers, checks and sums withdrawn in cash, and used a wide variety of money laundering techniques to make illegally obtained funds appear clean.
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