The Criminal Court in Kuwait ruled that a member of the ruling family, his partner, and two expatriates be imprisoned for 10 years, and a lawyer for 7 years, obliging them to return one billion dollars and fining them jointly an amount of 145 million Kuwaiti dinars (equivalent to half a billion dollars), in the largest money laundering case, known as the Malaysian Fund.
The Public Prosecution has recently reopened the case, after a two-year hiatus due to the failure to receive information from international bodies.
The original case in Malaysia dates back to 2016, when US prosecutors filed a lawsuit with the aim of recovering assets worth more than one billion dollars, which they say were related to an international conspiracy to launder money embezzled from the Malaysian sovereign fund, 1MDB, which is supervised by the former Prime Minister, Najib Abdel-Razzaq, and was used to finance a Hollywood movie, and to buy real estate and famous works of art.
The case unfolded in Kuwait in May 2020, after US officials in the Defense Department provided information to the former (late) Kuwaiti Defense Minister Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad, indicating the involvement of a number of former officials in facilitating suspicious financial operations in favor of Chinese and Malaysian companies through suspicious projects.
In Kuwait, investigations proved that nearly a billion dollars entered the account of an influential Kuwaiti personality, and then re-transferred abroad. Investigations link a Malaysian expert accused in this case with the son of a former Kuwaiti prime minister, who cooperated to open channels to transfer funds using intermediary companies.
On July 10, 2020, the Kuwaiti Public Prosecution ordered the arrest of Sheikh Sabah Jaber Al-Mubarak, son of the former prime minister, for his involvement in the Malaysian Fund case. An accomplice was also arrested.
That same year, on Aug. 10, an order was issued to refer the defendants in this case to trial. On Sept. 30, the Criminal Court postponed the trial of the defendants in the Malaysian Fund case to Oct. 25, 2022.