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Brothers face prison for money laundering

Bahrain News
Wed, 24 Feb 2016
By Noor Zahra

THREE Bahraini brothers who were convicted of laundering hundreds of thousands of dinars through a Saudi-based firm were jailed yesterday.

They allegedly transferred BD320,000 in a series of fraudulent transactions linked to a
construction company.

The eldest brother, a 42-year-old building supervisor, started raising suspicion after living an opulent lifestyle seemingly beyond his BD350 monthly salary.

He was jailed for seven years and fined BD300,000 by the High Criminal Court yesterday while his brothers, aged 35 and 36, were sentenced to 12 months each for aiding and abetting the crimes.

The court also ordered the confiscation of BD190,507, $36,700, five vehicles including a Maserati, a Porsche and three BMW cars belonging to the eldest brother.

His 35-year-old brother will have his Mitsubishi car and pick-up, Lexus, Chrysler, BD7,630 and a boat seized.

The 42-year-old had also purchased land in Egypt and 60 per cent shares in a car company to which he owed BD150,000.

He conned people into thinking he was wealthy and from the Ruling Family before duping them out of hundreds of thousands of dinars, according to the court.

“The defendant tricked people into thinking he was a wealthy man who was related to the Royal Family,” read court verdict
documents.

“He (the 42-year-old defendant) had four bank accounts which did not match his BD350 monthly salary which he received from the Information Affairs
Authority.

“He used his brothers to hide his money in their accounts in an attempt to evade arrest.

“All three were arrested. They denied the charges.

“However, evidence presented by prosecutors were sufficient to find them guilty.”

Investigations revealed that the 42-year-old had purchased many luxurious cars, including a 2008 Hummer he had bought upfront with cash, which he registered under his wife’s name to evade suspicion.

The defendant denied breach of trust, fraud and money laundering.

His business partner previously told prosecutors he was unaware his company was being used as a front for illicit operations.