Kuwait recovers 548 million dollars from graft cases


The cases were filed by the legal team in British and Spanish courts regarding corruption cases involving former top Kuwaiti investment officials accused of graft amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars.


The announcement came during a special parliamentary debate called by opposition MPs to follow up on measures taken by the government to restore stolen public funds.


The courts found former top officials of the London-based Kuwait Investment Office (KIO), including members of the ruling Al-Sabah family, guilty of stealing public funds.


The verdicts specifically relate to two major graft cases that took place about two decades ago.


The first concerns the loss of investments worth five billion dollars in the Spanish Torras Group in which former KIO officials were cited to have committed a number of fraud cases.


The second relates to state-owned Kuwait Oil Tanker Co (KOTC) in which five former top officials, including former oil minister Sheikh Ali Khalifa al-Sabah, stand accused.


Some of the KOTC officials were convicted by a British court for amassing illegal profits in the 1980s by creating paper companies and leasing oil tankers, causing losses to state-owned KOTC of more than 100 million dollars.


KIO was established in the early 1960s by oil-rich Kuwait to manage its overseas assets. In early 1980s, KIO was placed under the newly-established Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA).


Some of the fraud cases were carried out when Kuwait was under Iraqi occupation between August 1990 and February 1991.


Sheikh Ali has categorically denied any involvement in the graft cases.


Majed also said that the Kuwaiti legal team has filed two new major cases, the first in Switzerland worth 757 million dollars and the other in Spain with a value of about 780 million dollars.

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