03 January, 2013

  • Kuwait Oil Sector set to change with dramatic changes to business practices in the country. Anti-corruption and graft measures becoming law with stiff penalties being applied.
Kuwait government passes anti-corruption draft law Jail for up to 7 years


 KUWAIT CITY, Sept 25, (Agencies): Kuwait’s Cabinet passed an anti-corruption draft law on Sunday, which includes articles on financial disclosure and money laundering, with penalties of up to seven years in prison, the state news agency KUNA reported.
The crimes covered by the law include manipulation of public tenders and auctions, bribery, counterfeiting, forgery and graft, KUNA said.
Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund said that Kuwait’s anti-money laundering framework showed weaknesses in the preventive measures for financial institutions and a lack of supervision and monitoring.

The draft law will be referred to HH the Amir and then to the Parliament.
About 2,000 Kuwaitis protested in the capital last week against alleged corruption in the state’s government.
The protest was held after Kuwaiti daily newspaper Al-Qabas reported last month that several local banks were trying to deal with suspiciously large deposits by some parliamentarians and members of their families.

Qabas said that banks have enquired about these amounts and the answers they got from some lawmakers were “not convincing,” and could be related to political corruption.
Dr Mohammad Al-Busairi, the Minister of Oil, the Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs and the Acting Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, following the session, held at Al-Sief Palace, under chairmanship of Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, the Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Defense said the Cabinet discussed the draft law, out of its keenness on activating the efforts aimed at fighting various forms of corruption that constituted a threat to annihilate the basis of the society, and because it is one of the obstacles hindering the development and its high-status objectives.

The bill proposes formation of an independent public authority to take charge of fighting the various forms of corruption, divulging the financial assets, tracking down offenders, recovering embezzled funds and their proceeds, cooperating with international and regional agencies, boosting transparency and integrity in administrative, financial and economic dealings, solidifying supervision, protecting the state departments against manipulation, mishandling of the funds and nepotism.

The penalties, stipulated by the bill, lists the penalties against the offenders, including those related to tenders, auctioning, kick-backing, exploitation of influence, money laundering, counterfeiting, illegal profit-making and custom trafficking, minister Al-Busairi said, indicating that the wrong-doers would be held behind bars — up to seven years — and compelled to pay fines.