The Trials and Tribulations of Ahmed Dahab

The Unjust Imprisonment and Persecution of an Honest Businessman in Kuwait

From a very young age it was clear Ahmed Dahab had a head for business. Born in Sudan in 1978 and moving to Kuwait in 1983, he created his first business before he was 20 and made his first million pounds by 2011. Even greater success followed, but little did Dahab know that the ‘big boys’ of Kuwait were watching him from the shadows… Imprisoned without cause in 2016 – and denied bail and due process – it would take all of his resolve and perseverance to overcome his greatest challenge yet.

2011

Making My First Million Pounds

The Early Life and Career of Ahmed Dahab

I was born in Sudan on the 13th January 1978 and moved to Kuwait in 1983 as a small child. My father was promoted to work at the headquarters of a Kuwaiti investment company and shortly after we followed him as a family and started to live in Kuwait. I have spent my entire life and education in Kuwait and never visited my home country, even during the holidays. I was a very successful A+ student and obtained a major in science. However, I was not offered a place in Kuwaiti universities as I was a foreigner. As a result, I decided to put all my efforts into business. At the time having my own business was the only option, since Kuwait was not allowing me to study in its universities or offering me a job.
When I was 19, I set up my first business
When I was 19, I set up my first business buying computer parts, assembling them and selling them. I was successful in this business until 2004, when industry profit margins declined significantly as a result of high supply and competition. In 2003, one year before I left the computer business, I joined the Arab Open University (AOU) – which was affiliated with the University of London – to complete my degree in Economics. The primary reason I wanted to have a degree was to find the scientific method of survival for my business.

Combining nearly a decade of work experience with my studies, I set up a new business in the education and training industry. I established a training and consultancy company, which provided training courses in business studies as well as the implementation of feasibility studies and business plans. Achieving great success in my new training and consultancy business gave me a strong reputation, along with the respect and trust of my students, trainees and clients. I was regarded as ‘number one’ in that field of business.

Two of my trainees offered me a partnership by providing me with the capital to set up new businesses. They suggested that since I had the know-how and the ideas for setting up new businesses, we could combine my knowledge and their money and share the profit.

I innovated a unique method of partnership. I calculated the required investment capital for a small business, and then I got them to pay an extra amount on top of the required capital. For instance, a laundry or a restaurant: investment capital was £50,000, they would pay £80,000, £50,000 was the investment capital (key money, decoration, machines, overhead for six months), and the remaining £30,000 went to me for establishing and running the business.

The idea succeeded and word of mouth played its role in bringing me more investors. In one year I established seven laundries, four restaurants, two beauty salons and a nursery with different investment capitals, making my first million pounds in 2011. In the following years I continued to do the same thing but on a larger scale. Instead of small laundries and restaurants the projects were supermarkets and large restaurants. Therefore, the investment capital was larger and so accordingly were my fees.

I innovated a unique method of partnership
Two of my trainees offered me a partnership by providing me with the capital to set up new businesses. They suggested that since I had the know-how and the ideas for setting up new businesses, we could combine my knowledge and their money and share the profit.

I innovated a unique method of partnership. I calculated the required investment capital for a small business, and then I got them to pay an extra amount on top of the required capital. For instance, a laundry or a restaurant: investment capital was £50,000, they would pay £80,000, £50,000 was the investment capital (key money, decoration, machines, overhead for six months), and the remaining £30,000 went to me for establishing and running the business.

The idea succeeded and word of mouth played its role in bringing me more investors. In one year I established seven laundries, four restaurants, two beauty salons and a nursery with different investment capitals, making my first million pounds in 2011. In the following years I continued to do the same thing but on a larger scale. Instead of small laundries and restaurants the projects were supermarkets and large restaurants. Therefore, the investment capital was larger and so accordingly were my fees.

2014

Investing in the Real-Estate Business

Expanding My Business Internationally

By the year 2014 my wealth (cash money in my bank account and from my investors) was large enough to start investing in the real-estate business.

According to Kuwaiti law, non-Kuwaitis cannot own properties or register property companies in their names fully or partially. Therefore, I decided to invest in the real-estate industry in Dubai where I could register properties in my name to protect my investors’ money as well as my own.

After the global economic crisis in 2008, the Dubai Government implemented a lot of restrictions that eliminated real-estate speculation. This was not good for my business because I used to give my investors high ROI (Return On Investment). Therefore, I decided to head to another booming market where I could achieve high returns. This new market was Turkey.

​Starting to Receive Enmity by Sponsoring a Football Club

In the meantime, I started to sponsor a Kuwaiti Football club called Qadsiah. I did this to increase awareness of my business, as Qadsiah has the largest number of fans in Kuwait (60% of football fans support Qadsiah, while 40% support the other 13 clubs). It’s worth noting that in Kuwait, all football clubs are owned by the government and are not owned privately.
Qadsiah Football Club

The chairman of Qadsiah football club is the nephew of the prince of Kuwait. Qadsiah FC`s rival club is called ‘Kuwait’ which is also owned by the government; its honorary chairman is the Parliament Speaker, who has big political disputes and conflicts with Qadsiah’s chairman.

As in any country, football clubs are not only sports firms; they are also social institutions representing one social class or category. The biggest three clubs in Kuwait are:

Qadsiah: This club (which I sponsor) is considered the club of the people and accordingly the royal family.
Kuwait: This club is considered the club of the businessmen and its chairman is the parliamentary speaker.
Al-Arabi: This club is considered the club of SHEAA (a religious sect) and most of its supporters are of Iranian origins.

It is also worth mentioning that in 2013, one of the nephews of the prince of Kuwait (who is also the brother of Qadsiah’s chairman) was accused of trying to destabilise the Kuwaiti regime. In short, they were direct rivals of each other in politics, socially, and even in the sports arena. They had an aggressive sporting competition in the past and it turned into a political competition afterwards.

As a result of our sponsorship Qadsiah won the premier league in 2014, despite the suspension of the governmental and financial support to the team.

Ahmed Dahab and Ronaldo

Having Ronaldo as the Face of the Giant Real Estate Project in Turkey

In September 2014, to expand my business I started buying lands in Kusadasi which is a touristic resort in the southwest of Turkey. In Turkey, I could apply my vision of high ROI for my investors because in Kusadasi the land was cheap, the steel, the concrete and the labour were local, and the tourism industry was booming.

My new mega project in Turkey was called Neighbourhood City; it was a real-estate project which consisted of around 60 residential buildings. Most of the buildings had 10 floors with four flats each, and the rest of them had 15 floors. The 60 buildings contained 2,500 two-bedroom apartments. There was also an extra piece of land inside the project where 20 more buildings could be built. Therefore, the total capacity of Neighbourhood City was around 3,360 apartments.

Neighbourhood City

It is very important to note that Neighbourhood City was built by the Turkish government in 2008 for political reasons. Kusadasi – where Neighbourhood City is based – is an Aegean coastal town. All Turkish cities adjacent to Greek coasts were supporters of Erdogan’s opposing party. To lobby them in parliament and local elections, the government decided to build these apartments to gift or sell to them at an augmented price. In January 2015 my company participated in a real-estate fair and I met the representative of the project, who was marketing apartments in Turkey for only 15,000 KD (£38,000) each. We negotiated and purchased the whole project shortly after the fair. The owners of the apartments were called ‘The Cooperative’, which is like a landlord’s league.

The deal was sealed in February 2015 as follows:

I would buy the whole project (3,360 apartments)
The deal would be in three phases:
Phase 1: 960 apartments

Phase 2: 1,540 apartments

Phase 3: the extra piece of land

The unit price would be 8,800 KD (£22,000)
Payment would be within 3 years.
The deal was brave, magnificent and risky, but once again – thanks to a very successful advertising project, and with a new marketing strategy – we achieved a massive success.

First, I travelled to Spain and signed with Cristiano Ronaldo to be our media face for the project. Secondly, I made a different marketing strategy to cover the cost of the deal as well as to gain a large cash flow.

The marketing strategy was to have two types of clients. The first client type was the `end user`, the client who bought the property to use it (live or rent). The second client type was the ’investor’, who bought the property to resell and gain profit.

The ‘end user’ price was 48,000 KD (£120,000) and since we had a profit margin over 500% (the cost was £22,000 whilst the selling price was £120,000), we could offer the ‘end user’ a 20% return on investment to attract them to buy. This meant that when they paid £120,000, they received a £25,000 return (guaranteed by the company for the first year and subject to the market rental average for the following years).

Another marketing strategy we followed was to achieve high volume of sales.

We signed a contract with the number one football star in the world Cristiano Ronaldo to be our media face for this project, costing the company two million pounds.

The ‘investors’ would pay £22,000 (the cost of the unit) so we could fund our acquisition of Neighbourhood City, and they would gain up to 100% of what they paid as soon as their investments (apartments) were sold to an ‘end user’.

Investors Withdrawing Their Savings from the Kuwaiti Banks to Invest in My Business

In the first four months alone we sold more than 500 apartments to ‘end users’, totalling £60,000,000. It was a big success considering that our biggest competitors were selling only five apartments in a month.

We achieved even greater success when the investors who were paid high interest rates by us transferred their savings from NBK Bank (the largest bank in Kuwait) to our business, since it was much more profitable for them. In just the first half of 2016 the withdrawal of funds from NBK Bank was £40,000,000, which made NBK complain about us to the Central Bank of Kuwait.

In addition to this, our success in 2015 knocked most of our rivals out of business, which made them unite together and protest to the central bank of Kuwait; this effort was directed by a person loyal to the Parliament Speaker.

Last but not least, in 2016 we also financially sponsored Qadsia Football Club, which made the team champions in the Premier League. We started to experience business envy (because people withdrew their money from NBK, which is owned by the businessmen of Kuwait) alongside political envy (because the Kuwaiti Parliament Speaker and the businessmen sponsored the other football club called Kuwait).

2016

In the Summer of 2016 One Big Company Offered to Buy Neighbourhood City

Financial Investigation of our Company and Verdict in 30 minutes

In May 2016 the Central Bank of Kuwait sent a letter to the financial investigation unit, asking it to start investigating our company.

A newspaper called Al-Jareeda – which is also run by the big businessmen of Kuwait – started to publish negative news articles about us.

In July 2016 the financial investigation unit sent a report to the Public Prosecution, claiming to have suspicions that our company might be practicing money laundering activities.

The Public Prosecution
The public prosecution summoned one of the officers from the State Security Service and asked him whether he had any information about our company`s money laundering activities. However, instead of giving the officer the chance to investigate our company thoroughly, he was given the report conducted by the financial investigation unit and in 30 minutes he reached a decision, saying “Yes, the company is money laundering.”

In the summer of 2016 one big company offered to buy Neighbourhood City, and in August 2016 we signed a contract with the Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Justice. Soon after the massive deal of £420 million had been announced, the case against us began.

On the 3rd September 2016, while I was on a business trip in Dubai, I found out that 17 travel bans had been made against me and my 16 employees.

A pre-planned negative media campaign was started against my company in Al-Jareeda newspaper and on social media via fake accounts.

From day one, there was only one desired outcome for the Public Prosecution: to have my investors make group complaints against us. This was so he could back up his fabricated claims of fraud and money laundering against our company and consequently terminate our business and jail us.

The Basis of the Money Laundering Investigation Order Against Us

The prosecution filed the case against us on the basis that the company`s assets and properties abroad had been registered in my personal name, even though it is a well-known practice among foreign businessmen in Kuwait to do this since non-Kuwaitis are not allowed to have their own companies or register any assets in their names.

The only way to have a business in Kuwait is to find a Kuwaiti partner and register the company and its assets in their name. However, registering in the Kuwaiti partner’s name is very risky, as it is common for them to eliminate the foreign partner out of the business and take everything.

There is no law to protect foreign businessmen in Kuwait
Having experienced being kicked out of my own business by my so-called Kuwaiti partners made me more cautious about such partnerships, as there is no law to protect foreign businessmen in Kuwait. This was the only reason I registered the properties in Turkey and in Dubai in my own name rather than the company’s name.

I myself was the victim of the widely criticised Kuwaiti sponsorship system (twice). In 2001 and 2004 I was kicked out of my own business by my Kuwaiti partners and lost money and assets. Any formal or non-formal contracts to protect the rights of foreign partners are dismissed by the Kuwaiti courts.

Although the company assets were registered in my personal name, to protect the rights of my investors the assets were also registered on the company’s balance sheet and certified by the biggest audit firm in Kuwait and the Middle East (Talal Abo Ghazala). It was declared that all assets belonged to the company.

In January 2016 when the company was massively expanding, it became essential to form a PLC company and register all investors as shareholders so that their rights were 100% protected. I applied for a PLC but the Ministry of Commerce – which is run by the ‘blue blood’ Kuwaiti businessmen group – refused the application, even though we were fully compliant and compatible with the required conditions set.

The pre-planned legal and media war
The pre-planned legal and media war against our company was carried out around the same time as my application to form a PLC. Although the source of the money and its destination were traceable through the Kuwaiti Banks, we were accused of money laundering and fraud. The prosecutor said: “You and your assistants are taking the money into your personal accounts and paying it to multiple different individuals” (meaning dividends to the investors). These dividends were considered as the concealer of the money. The case was weak and fabricated; therefore, my lawyer said it should be rejected by the court at the first trial. However, he was thinking from a legal perspective and was not aware of the political perspective.

The Events Leading to My Arrest

In October 2016, while I was in Dubai on a business trip, I was arrested and taken into custody by the Dubai police and informed that I was wanted by the Kuwaiti authorities. I was detained in accordance with an Interpol arrest warrant. I immediately informed my lawyer, who contacted the Public Prosecutor in Kuwait to ascertain the reasons for my arrest. He was told that it was for money laundering and terrorist funding.
The Public Prosecutor was ‘out to get me’
The Public Prosecutor, who rarely appears in the media regardless of how big a case is, began to give statements about our case almost every day as part of the negative media propaganda.

My lawyer immediately travelled to Dubai and spoke to the Dubai police, vouching for my credibility as an honest businessman. The Dubai police confirmed that all my affairs in Dubai were in order and informed my lawyer that I was free to stay in Dubai or travel to Kuwait. Although I was permitted to stay in Dubai, I wished to return to Kuwait to clear my name as I had not committed an offence.

My lawyer contacted the Public Prosecutor in Kuwait and informed him of my intention to return voluntarily, despite being allowed to remain in Dubai if I wished.

Despite the arrest warrant and the usual protocol in such cases, the Dubai police simply handed me my passport and accompanied me to the plane to return to Kuwait. It was clear to me at this stage that the Public Prosecutor was ‘out to get me’ and he wanted to make a big show of me being arrested upon arrival at the airport for charges of money laundering and terrorist funding. I have an unblemished record in Kuwait and elsewhere and was willing to return of my own free will.

The biggest police raid in Kuwait’s history
On the 27th October the biggest police raid in Kuwait’s history took place against my company while I was in custody in Dubai. 42 vehicles with more than 90 policemen from the SSS invaded my company`s headquarters with a newspaper editor and photographers with the excuse of taking financial documents. Did the financial documents require all these vehicles? They just wanted to make a scene in front of my investors to push for a massive group of complaints against the company.

This police raid caused panic among my employees and investors. The police made my employees stand facing a wall for six hours without allowing them to drink water or go to the toilet. It was one of the worst days that my investors and employees faced; many of my employees (especially the women) kept crying out of panic.

In November 2016, upon my return to Kuwait, I was duly arrested and kept in custody for a period of 10 days. I was informed that five of my investors had come forward – or rather, were cold-called by the police – to give statements against me. Of these five investors, three of them refused. Of the remaining two, one of them subsequently went to see his lawyer and cancelled his statement. At the time I had approximately 4,500 direct investors. My lawyer was shocked such an arrest warrant had been issued without a proper and thorough investigation of me, my business or my clients.

2016

The First Interrogation Was on the 7th November 2016

Custody and the Mental and Physical Torture

My cell was inside the Security State Service prison, which is the highest national security authority.
It was 1.5m in width and 2.5m in length
It was 1.5m in width and 2.5m in length, including a hole in the floor to be used as a toilet. I had to sleep, eat, pray and use the toilet within that space with no soap or toilet paper. The so-called toilet was only a hole in the floor where everything went inside and gathered with no flush. The hole accumulated the waste of hundreds of prisoners over the years. The bed was a concrete block 1m by 1.8m with a urine-soaked blanket on it. The strong neon lights were on 24 hours a day to prevent prisoners sleeping.

There was a tiny blurred window around 30 cm by 20cm, which made it impossible to distinguish between day and night. There was also a speaker for announcements, but this speaker was instead used as a tool for mental torture to keep me awake. When the guards used to see me trying to sleep through the CCTV cameras installed in the cell, they would use this speaker to interrupt. As soon as I would try to sleep, they would start shouting and continuously calling me Sudani (Sudanese). When using the toilet, they were watching and laughing through the speaker.

Isolated in a tiny cell

As I was isolated in a tiny cell – not able to have fresh air or someone to speak to for days – I started to look forward to the interrogation dates. At least during these days I was able to speak to someone, even if it was just one of my tyrannical prison wardens or the investigator.

I was taken to interrogations blindfolded, sleepless and tired, as they were not allowing me to sleep day or night. Only a few seconds after the announcement of the interrogation, guards would come to pick me up from my cell shouting “You idiot, you are still not ready!” They used to ask me to face the wall to blindfold me so that I couldn’t see and recognise their faces; this was to prevent prisoners taking revenge once they were free.

After blindfolding me, they used to tie my legs and wrists. The torture didn’t stop during the journey; they used to pull me and start swearing. They, on purpose, used to pull me harder to make me walk faster then suddenly stop, causing me to fall while they were laughing and insulting me. Outside we used to pass a building where there were loud barks from the prison dogs and the warden would say “If you don’t cooperate with the interrogator you will sleep here with the dogs.”

The guards also used to keep me waiting outside in the freezing winter around 15-20 minutes wearing a short-sleeved prison uniform; every couple of minutes someone would come and whisper “Sudani you are dead”.

Eventually I would be taken inside the building still blindfolded, someone directing me by shouting “straight, straight, right, left, left, right, right” until I was sat down facing two officers three metres away from me.

During the interrogation I would keep hearing other officers shouting along with screams of other people from the adjacent rooms. I assumed these were fake screams to give me the message that unless I agreed with the interrogator I would be tortured too. They used to offer me plenty of water, but they never allowed me to use the toilet for at least six hours of interrogation.

This would put me under great pressure and stress, in addition to the sleepless days and tiredness.

There were some moments I wanted to give up and tell them I was happy to sign any confession and return to my cell.

The first interrogation

The first interrogation was on the 7th November 2016. It started at almost 10pm – two hours after I arrived at the Kuwaiti airport from Dubai – and lasted until 4pm. During the interrogation, whenever I answered a question they would rephrase the answer back to me. They would also keep repeating the same question to give me a message about the answer they wanted to hear, while the shouting and screams continued to be heard from the next room.

Because of my lawyer’s good connections in Dubai, the Dubai police escorted me from Interpol’s custody to the airport with no handcuffs. Four police officers handed me over to the Kuwaiti plane’s security team, who let me in with respect. This respect was due to my lawyer’s big reputation in Kuwait, since he is a very famous and successful lawyer who also has a TV show.

We arrived in Kuwait in first class and after landing we went to the airport building by bus. As soon as we arrived, we realised that three different police officers from three different police departments – Border Security, the Criminal Investigation Unit and the State Security Service – were fighting over me. Each department was claiming that it had the right to hand me over to the authorities. Eventually, they agreed that they were all going to share the victory: Border Security would take me to the passport checkpoint and hand me over to the Criminal Investigation Department, which would then hand me over to the State Security Service.

At the Criminal Investigation department

At the Criminal Investigation department one officer asked me informally “Why are you here?” Then his colleague, who escorted me with my hands handcuffed behind my back, whispered to him “terrorism funding.”

At this point I was scared; I realised that the Public Prosecutor had been telling everybody that I was accused of ‘terrorism funding’ to make the case extremely serious and justify his orders.

After two hours of waiting with no water and no toilet, a squad of five officers from the State Security Service came and took us (me and my assistant) in a black jeep after cuffing our hands and legs and tying our eyes with a black band. It was the beginning of 12 continuous days of inhuman treatment. As soon as we arrived, they took us to do fingerprints by pulling us by the handcuffs while insulting us and shouting at us.

Then, they pushed me to the bathroom to wash the ink marks from my hands, but after five seconds they started shouting at me, saying: “Hurry up Sudanese, do you think that you are at your home?” After this I was put in the cell that I described earlier, with a hole in the middle of the very small room, a concrete bed with a urine-soaked blanket, strong neon lights, and the strong smell of the so-called toilet.

The strong neon lights and the speaker were used to disturb the prisoners and prevent them from sleeping. I was only able to sleep after 7am which was the time for changing shifts, when they were too busy to deal with the prisoners. However, despite only being able to sleep for a very short time between shift changes, I was asked to get ready for the next interrogation.

I was sat down and heard a voice saying: “Untie his eyes.” Once they untied my eyes, I saw a video camera a metre away from my face and around 15 people – some sitting, some standing – around the room. I also saw my assistant bleeding from the nose! Then, one of them started speaking: “Ahmed, we are not police; we are the Human Rights Committee from the Justice Palace. We just want to help you get out of here. But first you should confess to the following points so you will be free.” It was then that I realised they were not from the Human Rights Committee; it was a lie. However, I pretended to believe them and told them I would agree with the points they would like me to confess.

He told me the 14 points I needed to confess

He told me the 14 points I needed to confess; he told me to be careful and not to miss any points; he even offered me a chance to rehearse. I told him I was ready. After we had finished, he was very happy and said: “Well done Ahmed, very good. Bring him some food and water and then take him to his cell.” It was the first time I had eaten since the day before.

I stayed in my cell for several hours and in the evening, they took us to the prosecution where another round of interrogation and torture started (it was around 7pm, as I heard the interrogation officer mentioning the time). They pulled us by the handcuffs as usual and started shouting at us to hurry up, before handing us to two prison wardens to travel to the prosecution department.

As our eyes were blindfolded, we were not able to get into the car as ordered; every time we tried, we fell. They started to laugh and shouted: “Carry on you idiot Sudanese.” Eventually they became bored of this game and pulled me into the car, saying aggressively: “Get in stupid.” Once we were in the car someone suddenly pulled my seat to the front, causing me to hit my head. They did the same thing to my assistant. Once we were all in, they started to have a conversation between themselves:

“Why did we bring these baseball bats?” The other one replied: “To beat these stupid Sudanese and the Jordanian bastards if we hear them talking.” Then, they turned the siren on and started to drive fast. On the way they were telling me: “Put your head down, more, more, more you piece of shit.” They kept repeating this to me and my assistant.

When we arrived, it was almost 8pm

When we arrived, it was almost 8pm. Nobody was supposed to be there since the Justice Palace closes at 2:30pm, but they opened the doors to us anyway since we were supposed to be the biggest terrorists in the world.

Once we were there, they opened the car door and shouted: “Get out.” One of them whispered in my ear: “Where are you from?” I told him: “From Sudan” and he replied: “It means you are shit, walk you piece of shit.” They walked us inside the building while carrying on swearing and insulting us. Once we reached the room one of them said: “If you tell the prosecutor agent about what we did to you, you know what will happen.”

After a while I think they changed their shifts. A different voice spoke to me calmly: “Why are you putting your head down? Just sit still. A few minutes later the prosecution agent came and said: “Untie their eyes, give them water and keep them here until I ask you to bring them.” After about half an hour we were taken to the prosecution agent’s room where two of my lawyers were waiting to witness the interrogation. It was a surprise to see them there, as it was a late-night and unusual interrogation. My lawyers had been informed through their contacts in the SSS about the late-night interrogation and had rushed to come. The prosecution agent ordered sandwiches and drinks for me and the interrogation started. It lasted about six to seven hours. In the first two hours the agent was very good and rational. As a reply to one of his questions, I asked him why, if there were such allegations against me, nobody had complained about the company for six years? Why had none of the investors they’d cold-called agreed to complain?

He answered: “If they knew the company would shut down, they might have changed their minds.” This was an indication to me that the decision was already made, and we were prejudged. All these procedures were just formalities.

After the first two hours of the interrogation

After the first two hours of the interrogation, another man entered the room and the prosecution agent jumped from his seat and welcomed him. The second man sat for half an hour. But after the second man entered the room, the polite prosecution agent’s attitude towards me changed. He became more nervous, agitated and biased! His tone of voice turned higher and aggressive. I assumed he was the prosecution chief. The interrogation lasted four more hours and the prosecution agent asked the lawyers if they had any questions. He said: “Ask about anything expect releasing him on bail. It is out of my hands.”

Although my lawyers insisted that I should be released on financial bail or even personal bail, he refused and asked security to take me out of the room. The last thing I heard was: “Bail is impossible, don’t embarrass me please.” (Later, I was told by my lawyer that the prosecution agent was his colleague in university and if it was in his hands, he would have released me.) While we were waiting in another locked room, the policeman asked me: “Why did you launder money?” I kept quiet. But then he continued: “No, no I’m joking, but your assistant told us what a kind, helpful and generous man you are. Don’t worry; we are not going to treat you bad, but don’t forget to reward us.” I took this as an indirect way to ask for a bribe.

While we were waiting for a decision to be made the prosecution agent called his bosses. Finally, around 4am the decision was made: “No bail, send them to custody.”

Surprisingly, while we were being taken back to the cells we were not blindfolded or handcuffed. On the way one policeman said: “Don’t worry, such things happen, particularly when they want somebody’s head or when they take instructions from above.” He also told us: “You should thank God, because many other people face 100 times worse treatment than what you face. At least your cell is on the ground floor and not in the basement.” When we got closer to the SSS headquarters they handcuffed and blindfolded us and told us not to tell anybody about the good treatment we received on the way.

While passing CCTV recorded areas, they pretended to be harsh with us. After locking us back in our cells, the policeman came back and knocked on the door and said through the narrow hole: “Sorry, I tried to bring you some food, but there was no food left over from dinner. Anyway, after two hours the breakfast will be brought. I’m finishing my shift in two hours, but I’ll see you on my next shift in three days.”

I tried to sleep but I couldn’t

I tried to sleep but I couldn’t. Although we started to receive less aggressive treatment, I was still locked in a small cell with a smelly hole in it, neon lights turned on 24/7, no proper toilet or hygiene, and a concrete bed. After managing to get some sleep, someone brought me a copy of the Quran. I kept reading, not knowing whether it was appropriate to read the Quran in such a dirty place by the toilet hole. Then, I was interrupted by a voice: “Sudanese, get ready quickly.”

This time, different policemen escorted us to the prosecution headquarters. They took us from the cell to the interrogation room with minimal insults. Soon after we got into the car, one of the three policemen said: “Untie his eyes.” Once we arrived we were taken to the 7th floor, again with no insults (unlike the other days). While we were waiting to be called in, the chief of the policemen said: “How are you Ahmed? I know you but you don’t know me. My son K has been working for you for the last 8 months.” I remembered the young man who was working at the reception desk of the company and we kept talking with the chief for two hours.

The prosecuting officer arrived at 6:30pm

The prosecution agent`s harsh mood changed when he asked me: “Why did you make Cristiano Ronaldo the advert face? Why not Messi?” I answered that it was because I was a Madristia. He was laughing. Yet he soon switched back to his harsh mood.

We stayed in the interrogation for more than 11 hours (from 4pm to 3am) and the decision came again as: “No bail, back to custody.” Two different policemen took us back to the SSS. These two policemen treated us well too; this was probably because the previous officer told them to do so. We didn’t have to wear handcuffs or blindfolds until we reached the SSS building.

Once we were back inside the building, everything was different again. The harsh treatment returned, although it was much better than before. We were back to our tiny cells but we managed to get some sleep before they woke us up at 9am. Being taken to these interrogations without enough sleep or enough food was taking its toll.

The two policemen who were taking us to the prosecution headquarters were the friendly officer and his colleague. I was surprised to see them in the morning as they’d had a late-night shift the previous night. I was also happy because we would be treated well. We arrived around 10am but were called in at almost 3pm. We didn’t see the prosecutor agent. At 3pm we were told that the decision was issued. As usual: “Back to custody.” I was shocked because nobody saw or interrogated us. We were unhappy because Thursdays were when the weekend holiday started. This meant that we would remain for three days inside our cells with no chance to go outside for interrogation, which at least gave us the chance to see the sun and communicate with people. Our wish, during those moments, was just to be sent to the jail where we could be with other inmates.

It Had Been a Week in the Cells

Bribery and Corruption

On the way, one of the officers started make a fake phone call. He was shouting and pretending to talk to someone who apparently owed him KD5,000 (£12,500), saying he needed this money back as he had borrowed it from someone else. Then he slammed the phone down and started talking to himself. This was when we realised that he was trying to give us a message and was asking for money indirectly.

We were back in our cells where our world was 2.5 by 1.5 metres. In my cell there was no clock and time itself was not passing. Without exaggeration it felt like a minute inside was equivalent to an hour outside. When I was in that cell, the only wish I had was for somebody to call me for interrogation. I did not even dream of being free as I started to lose hope, but I wished to be sent to the jail so that I could at least be with the other inmates.

It takes a good Muslim worshipper four months to finish reading and reciting the Quran, but inside the cell it only took me three days to finish it twice

It takes a good Muslim worshipper four months to finish reading and reciting the Quran, but inside the cell it only took me three days to finish it twice. Nevertheless, the time didn’t pass at all as I couldn’t distinguish between night and day. The only good thing after the forceful confession was that there were no more disturbances from the policemen outside through the microphone, expect for when they talked among themselves. In the cell you also had to reduce your usage of the toilet, as there was always somebody watching through the CCTV cameras.

Finally, it was Sunday

Finally, it was Sunday. I was very happy because Sunday was a working day and I might be taken to interrogation. Eventually, around 10am they called me through the speaker: “Sudani, get ready quickly.” Then, somebody came to the door and told me to: “Face the wall.” Then, I was blindfolded and handcuffed as usual.

I was taken outside, where I started to hear a loud voice and crazy laugher: “Hahahaaaa I’m the mad man, you are dead, I’m very mad. Sudani walk quickly.” He let us get in the car and drove very fast, laughing and screaming while his colleague beside him was laughing and asking him to calm down because it was just the morning. The crazy guy was driving at high speed while continuing to make crazy noises. When we arrived he let us out of the car and said: “Hahahaha… Sudani now you are with the crazy guy, I like adventures, I will untie you, if you want to run away, run, but also bear in mind I may shoot you hahahaha.”

The madman took us upstairs to the 7th floor to wait for the prosecution agent. We waited from 10:30am until 2:30pm, knowing time had become a privilege to us as we had lost all sense of it in our isolated cells. After five hours of waiting, the decision came: “No bail, back to custody.”

It had been a week in the cells

It had been a week in the cells. Monday morning was the same: we were taken to the prosecution at 9am. We waited in the corridor for six to seven hours where everyone could see us handcuffed in our jail suits, waiting for the prosecution agent to interrogate us. But again nobody saw us, and we went back to our cells.  We realised that our dream of being free had faded. Now, all we wanted was to be sent to the jail where we could at least communicate and socialise with people, even though these people might be dangerous criminals.

On Wednesday we went to the prosecution with the friendly officer and his colleague. They were happy and fresh; as soon as we got out of the SSS headquarters they released our handcuffs and started talking and joking. We arrived at the prosecution headquarters and stayed until 2pm. This time the prosecutor agent called me inside and told me: “I will ask you the last question.”

He told his secretary by making eye contact not to type this question. The question was: “Now if we set you free, how would the company be able to return the money to the clients?” This was the easiest question for me, and I explained how we would. But he was not happy with my answer; therefore, he did not allow his secretary to type it and told me to wait outside. While we were waiting, I was permitted to go to do my prayers. After I returned from my prayers, I saw my assistant jumping with joy and hugging Officer H. I tried to understand what was going on. When I got closer, Officer H told me with laughter: “Please ask your friend to calm down, if somebody sees him hugging me, I will punish him.” My assistant interrupted with joy “Mabroooooooook (congratulations)! They are sending us to jail today!” Imagine the situation they put us in; they made us celebrate going to jail!

Anyway, it was a really happy day. Although we were not released, we were being sent to jail and not back to the SSS cell. On our way, we passed by a McDonald’s and they offered us some meals (which is not allowed). When we got closer to the SSS building, they blindfolded our eyes and handcuffed us as usual.

We stayed in the cell for a couple of hours until they called us to get ready. They gave us our normal clothes to wear and signed us out to go to Sulebiyyah jail. On the way they stopped at a supermarket and offered us drinks and chocolates; they also asked us if we needed any favours before they handed us over to the jail! I requested to speak to my mother to find out about my father`s ongoing cancer treatment, as I had not been allowed to speak to anybody for the past 10 days.  The officer gave me his phone and told me: “Please don’t tell her any details about where you are going or whose phone this is.” I spoke to my mother and she was happy to hear my voice and asked me to be strong because: “We know how we raised you and everybody knows that you are innocent, so stay strong and don’t care about anybody or anything.”

She also told me that my father would go to the American hospital in Bangkok for his cancer treatment with my brother, because his visa for the treatment in Germany was not approved.

We arrived at the jail before sunset. We were happy that we would not be isolated in a cell anymore. The officers escorted us to the jail gate; at the gate they spoke to the person in charge and asked him whether he could put us in Ward 2, which was apparently the best ward as the number of concrete beds was equal to the number of prisoners. Normally, this ward was assigned for the ‘blue blood’ Kuwaiti prisoners, or anyone who managed to build good relationships with the policemen inside by bribing them.

The person in charge told the officers: “I would if I could, but you know the system here; the SSS crimes are assigned Ward 3, which is the highest security ward and is assigned for the high crimes like murder or ISIS.” I guess this is one of the reasons why the Public Prosecutor filed the case as a SSS crime: it was so we would face the harshest jail time.

I Was Taken to Cell ‘Zero’

Jail Circumstances

Most of the departments in jail are managed by the prisoners themselves – such as the paperwork – so you can do anything there by bribing these prisoners. One prisoner who was in charge of writing the names and calling someone to escort you to the ward recognised my name. He told me: “Oh, you are Ahmed Dahab, many people are waiting for you here. We all wanted to meet this guy whom everybody is praising.”

Then I was taken to my ward. Each ward consisted of one iron bar in the front with a side cell called the ‘zero’, and then a second bar 20 metres in length with four cells behind it, each cell measuring 5 by 5 square metres. I was taken to cell ‘zero’ which is a cell for the newcomers as well as the punished prisoners. The newcomers stay there for one night until their blood test results come back. Then, if they are disease free, they go to the wards. However, they kept me in cell zero for four nights.

Cell zero was overcrowded

Cell zero was overcrowded; it didn’t have enough beds for everyone to sleep in and strong neon lights were turned on 24 hours a day. It consisted of three concrete blocks with a metre space between them and the same layout opposite. So, in total six concrete beds with mattresses on top and four empty gaps in between them, making a total of 10 sleeping slots (including the sleeping slots on the floor) – and this was supposed to be enough for 30-35 people! We were supposed to sleep in shifts, since there were only 10 slots for 35 prisoners.

Drug users slept 22 hours a day. There was also a group of people playing cards for almost 24 hours and some prisoners simply did not want to give up their beds even after they completed their shift of sleeping. The only way to find a sleeping slot was to pay and purchase two hours of sleeping time. There was no toilet in the ward but there were two holes opposite each other covered with curtains and shared with 30-35 people. The toilets in the ward were extra busy, because they were used for illegal phone calls with smuggled phones or used for drug injections. Unlike the SSS cell, these toilets did not have CCTV; therefore, a lot of police raids took place to control the ward.

The next day I was told by the other prisoners that we were permitted to make some phone calls every day. The guards would bring a phone and leave it in the ward for an hour for prisoners to make calls, which meant two minutes of calls for each prisoner. I was happy; at least I could talk to my family and my assistants and find out what was going on with the company. Unfortunately, when it was my turn to make a phone call, because of my crime category I was told that I was not allowed to use the phone. I was also told that my visitors were limited to just one person a month and this was only allowed with the signature of the Public Prosecutor himself. All other prisoners could have two visitors a week and make a daily phone call (this was probably another reason to file my case as an SSS crime).

Cell zero was only supposed to be used for 24 hours

Although cell zero was only supposed to be used for 24 hours for all prisoners, my assistant and I were kept in there for five nights. Finally, on Monday they called our names to be transferred to the normal cells. It was a celebration day for us! We were going to a better place, as well as meeting two of our colleagues who were jailed the month before at the same time we were arrested in Dubai. They also faced the same procedures as us. K was captured on the 12th October 2016 and spent 12 days in the SSS cell before being sent to the jail. Z was captured on the 22nd October 2016 and spent six days in the SSS cells before being moved to the jail.

We went to our new cell hoping that everything would be better. At least in the new jail we might have spare beds to sleep in, unlike the SSS and zero cells. Our colleagues were three weeks ahead of us in the jail and we hoped that they would guide us inside.

On my last day in cell zero, 12 of my employees were brought to the cell after spending six days in SSS. I met them for a few minutes inside cell zero where they all cried.

The Company Continues to Pay Its Investors

During the period of my custody, my company continued to pay its investors. A total sum of £22 million had been paid to them by my assistants. This amount was a return of their profits, not their capital. The Public Prosecutor enquired as to how I was able to pay investors whilst I was in custody. When he found out that the payments were made by my employees, he realised that there was no way to stop the payments and push investors to file complaints against my company unless the remaining staff were also arrested (expect for the Kuwaiti and Western Citizens).

Kuwaiti and Western Employees Excluded from the Case

However, Kuwaiti employees EQ, AA, FF, MO and EM were not arrested or even called for the investigation. This was the same for the Western citizens such as German citizen MA, American citizen SS, and OAZ. When they called German citizen MA to the SSS for interrogation and tried to treat him unlawfully, he said he would call the German Embassy and refused to sign any documents until he informed them. Surprisingly, he was immediately released and excluded from the case, although he was the second man in the company.

Soon after I saw my remaining employees brought to cell zero, I was transferred to cell number one with S. There I met K and Z, who had already paid one of the old prisoners to make sure I could also join them in cell number one. Apparently, they also paid to secure two beds for themselves. They couldn’t secure two more beds for me and S because there were not enough beds left (12 beds for more than 36 prisoners).

Z and K were mentally and physically exhausted
Z and K were mentally and physically exhausted. Apparently, they had received worse treatment than us in the SSS. This was because they were the first arrested people and were not smart enough to confess to the required points by the SSS interrogators. The more they resisted confessing the worse the treatment they received, including regular beatings.

We Were Keen to Demonstrate That We Had Nothing to Hide

I Was Stopped Paying My Investors

Despite my remaining assistants being arrested, I continued to arrange payments through other colleagues in Dubai. When the prosecutor discovered this, he blocked my company and personal accounts so that the payment from Dubai couldn’t find an account to land in. He also put my Dubai company on a blacklist so that no further payments to investors could be made. This was a contradiction, as I had supposedly been arrested to protect these investors.

After more than two weeks (nine days in the SSS cell plus seven days in the jail) and despite the prosecutor’s strenuous objections, I was granted bail by the court. It was early Wednesday morning when they called our names to get ready to go to court. We thought the procedure would be the same as the SSS procedure and just two policemen would escort us. But this time it was different.

A squad of private forces consisting of seven militaries arrived to take us

A squad of private forces consisting of seven militaries arrived to take us. After blindfolding us, they switched on their sirens and started driving to the court. When we arrived, they kept us in a basement cell until we were called by the judge. Usually this type of judge is called a ‘renewal judge’; their duty is just to check that you are alive and healthy, and they allow you to speak for one minute. After this routine procedure, they renew the jail sentence until the next renewal judge sees you.

But the judge was taken by surprise when my lawyer requested to speak for five minutes. Mr. Khaled delivered a magnificent speech. Everybody in the room was impressed! Even the special forces squad chief told me when he walked me out of the room after my hearing: “Out of my ten years of experience, the judge will definitely release you. I haven’t heard such an impressive speech in my life.”

When we arrived back at the jail, our colleagues were celebrating because they had found out that a decision to release me and S had been issued. They were now waiting for their hearing session to take place five days later and hopefully be released on bail as well. Unfortunately, they were not released like us, as the Public Prosecutor diverted their cases to a non-Kuwaiti renewal judge who was easier to influence by bribing.

After I was released, I set about the task of drawing up a payment plan to pay all the investors, together with a timescale of payments and a road map. This plan was published in the number one newspaper in Kuwait. My company had a reputation for always paying its investors on time and it had never had a single complaint of non-payment or late payment throughout its history. This was something we were very proud of and why we were so well regarded in Kuwait.

We had huge support from our investors

We had huge support from our investors, who were keen to make their voices and support heard. We were able to obtain a staggering 1,600 statements from these investors, setting out their support and vouching for the credibility of the company. These were some of the very people who had supposedly been the victims of my money laundering and terrorist funding. These statements were presented to the Public Prosecutor. Astonishingly, he said that the statements could not be accepted in this form and had to be legalised. All the statements were legalised and reserved.

Once we had prepared a payment plan, it was posted on the front page of the number one newspaper in Kuwait. We were keen to demonstrate that we had nothing to hide and would carry on with business as usual to protect our investors. Within 24 hours of the payment plan being published I was invited to the State Security Service, where I was told that a lady had come forward with a complaint of fraud and that I was being arrested and detained. This was miniscule compared to the total number of investors and even to the 1,600 statements of support. The shocking thing was not only that this was one complaint among 4,500 clients, but it was a fake complaint where an elderly woman pushed and cheated to file a complaint. Her complaint was already included in case 993/2016, which I had already received bail for from the judge.

I was charged with a separate offence of money laundering and fraud. Later this case was merged again with the main case (which implies that it was fabricated to jail me).

Back to the SSS Cell

I was back in the SSS cell. It was Wednesday the 23rd November 2016 when I was called by an SSS officer to visit their headquarters. I went with my driver at 9am, taking my ID and 50KD, which is the maximum amount allowed to be taken to the jail. When I arrived, I asked my driver not to wait for me as I already knew that I would be jailed again.

The security officer escorted me to a cell after blindfolding me. I waited for one hour inside the cell, and then two policemen took me to the prosecution headquarters where I waited for another hour before entering the interrogation room with the prosecution agent. He was nice to me and offered me food and juice. Then he started to ask me the same questions. I told him that I had answered all these questions in the main case just a few days earlier with the prosecutor and I had been released on bail. He replied that this case was brought to him as a separate case and he had to deal with it as a separate case.

I stayed for an hour

I stayed for an hour. In the end, he asked me if I had something to add; meanwhile, the police entered the room to take me back to the SSS cell. I told the prosecution agent: “I don’t have anything to say but you are the judge of this land, you should watch out for the judge of the universe.” He felt uncomfortable that I’d said this as it is regarded as a prayer against the unjust and unfairness. He immediately said, in front of the policeman: “Ahmed, please don’t interfere with me in this; I am just an aide who is doing what I have been told to do. I’m neither happy nor satisfied with this issue.” On the way back to the cell, the policeman said: “I heard you saying that you are not guilty, but all the prisoners say the same thing, so I don’t usually accredit this. But during my career of 20 years in escorting prisoners, this is the first time I have ever heard a prosecution agent saying to a defendant that he is not happy with his decision.”

I returned to the isolated SSS cell where time never passed, the strong neon lights never turned off, and the smell of the hole in the cell never decreased. This time I was kept in the cell for six days. Every day I was taken to the prosecution agent, who renewed my custody period. One day a policeman told me that he informally chatted to his boss and asked why I was back in the SSS. His boss replied: “What are you talking about? The Public Prosecutor himself wants his head; this guy will never see the sun again.”

I stayed there until Tuesday the 29th November. When I was sent back to cell number one, I was reunited with my 12 colleagues (these 12 colleagues were not granted bail because after I was released on bail, the prosecutor sent them to a biased, easily influenced judge so they wouldn’t be released the way I was).

My colleagues had managed to bribe one of the big old prisoners who was chief of the ward to spare us some beds. In the prison it was common practice for the police to choose one of the dangerous criminals to chief the ward so there would be some stability. However, in return these chiefs could do anything they wanted – even drugs and raping the younger prisoners.

The chief has been bribed to spare us extra beds; we were a group of 13 prisoners, but we were only allocated six beds. Therefore, we slept in shifts, but our situation was much better than those who were sleeping in the hallway.

The cell was around 6 by 5 metres with 14 concrete block beds (seven on each side). These 14 beds were allocated for 35-40 prisoners. The neon lights were on 24 hours a day. The cell was always kept very cold to prevent germs breeding, although it was December and January which are the coldest months in Kuwait. There were always arguments among the prisoners, whether it was about sleeping shifts or even a piece of soap. Food was also a big problem, as the sleeping shifts were causing a lot of prisoners to miss the food distribution. Another problem was the insufficient number of toilets and poor hygiene and drainage. There were just two toilet holes in our ward. These two holes were not only being used by our ward but by the next ward too, as they did not even have a single toilet. This meant that over 70 people were using Ward 1`s two toilets holes.

They Wanted to Exhaust Me as Part of the Torture

The Cell with No Toilets (For the Asians Only)

The neighbouring ward was called the ‘Asian room’; this ward did not even have a number let alone a single toilet in it. The reason for calling this ward Asian was because it was assigned for the Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan prisoners. These people were kept in a special cell based on their race. The Asian ward didn’t even have a toilet hole (unlike our ward), so we had to share our toilets with them. In the evening after a certain time the ward doors were locked, so they were not even able to use our toilets. Other times, if the Kuwaitis were playing cards in Ward 1, the Asians were not even allowed to use the toilets as they’d interrupt the game. There was a praying room in the hallway for Muslims only. The Asians were not allowed to use this room unless they converted to Islam.

To get to the interrogation, the warden usually woke the prisoners up at 4am so they could get 60 prisoners handcuffed and ready on time. On average, prisoners usually went to the court or interrogation every 21-30 days. But it was again different for me and I used to be taken to the interrogation almost every day. They used to take me to the court almost every morning from 5:30am to 7-8pm. Their excuse was that there was a complaint I should be interrogated for, although there was only one case. They wanted to exhaust me as part of the torture. When I returned back to my cell in the evening there was no food to eat, and I wanted to sleep as soon as I arrived at my cell so that I could rest for the next morning`s interrogation – of course, if I was lucky enough to find a bed available.

Although there were several other companies that had the same business model as my company, I was the only non-Kuwaiti among them. It was becoming more and more apparent to my lawyers that this was not really a legal battle, but a political one, and they were trying to convict me from every possible angle.

 

Meanwhile, in December 2016 one of my two Kuwaiti sponsors tried to use his connections to help me.

Meanwhile, in December 2016 one of my two Kuwaiti sponsors tried to use his connections to help me. He went to his uncle (an MP) and the former chief of the SSS (the brother of the current Minister of Interior Affairs and National Security, and the brother of the current Council of the Prince of Kuwait).

These two powerful names promised to visit the Public Prosecutor and ask him to release me, since this issue would not only harm me but would also harm 4,500 Kuwaiti investors. They visited him on the 13th and 18th December. The Public Prosecutor told them: “It’s not up to me alone, I cannot help you with this issue.” But when the Public Prosecutor saw our strong connections, he started to send the case directly to the courts; he was worried that these strong connections might put him under pressure. Ironically, my lawyer had been requesting the Public Persecutor to send my case directly to the court since 2016, but he hadn’t done so.

After almost 11 months of negative media coverage and three months of legal action against the company, only two ‘forced’ complaints from the 4,500 investors were made. It proved the magnificent trust they had in our company. Nevertheless, the prosecution kept taking me almost every morning from the jail to the prosecution to demoralise, intimidate and exhaust me.

It is worth mentioning that one of the mornings I was taken to the court at 7am and waited until 1pm. As it was getting late, the security chief asked the court secretary about the reason for the delay. The secretary answered that: “The case file is with the judge and the judge has not arrived yet.” It was unlawful for a judge to take a defendant`s file home. Because renewal files remain at court, if a judge is not present, another judge sees the defendant. The reason for taking my file away was because the prosecutor prearranged which judge my file should go to. 

In the meantime, 4,500 supporters had formed themselves into a 35-member committee

In the meantime, 4,500 supporters had formed themselves into a 35-member committee and demanded that my detention and my treatment thus far had been unfair, and also that the prosecutor’s handling of the case had been unfair, They, along with my lawyer, arranged to meet with the head of the judicial system in Kuwait. The Public Prosecutor answered directly to the head of the judicial system.

The head was highly impressed with the way the committee had formed and conducted itself, not only to support the company, but also to protect its own interests. He was also embarrassed at what he heard and, in their presence, said: “this has never occurred in the history of the prosecution.” He telephoned the head of the parliamentary court and insisted that the case should be brought to trial without delay. He was also very unhappy with the prosecutor separating the case into so many cases that I was walked to interrogation every single day. He telephoned the prosecution and asked them to merge the cases to achieve justice and not waste the time of the prosecution by studying the same case every day.

I remember that, in January 2017, my lawyer told the head of the judicial body that we wanted our cases to be dealt with by the reputable judge SA because he was known to be a very fair judge and very difficult to influence. Therefore, the prosecutor’s interference would be reduced to a minimum and we could have a fair trial.

The Trial

The trial commenced in December 2016, only three months after I had been arrested in Dubai. I am told that such speed is unheard of for a case of this nature and size. In an odd move, most of my investors went to the court and made (individually) 1,600 testimonials over two weeks (certificates from the Ministry of Justice from each of them that they were proud of me and wanted me to be released).

These testimonials were made because the prosecutor told my lawyer: “If you want Ahmed to be released, bring me letters from at least 1,000 investors stating that they don’t mind him being released on bail” (he thought that it would be impossible to collect such signatures or testimonials). Yet, after my lawyer brought him 1,600 (not 1,000) certificates, he changed his mind and refused to release me on bail.

They passed the time from November 2016 to January 2017 in jail either by taking me every day (until the client committee met the head of the judicial system) to interrogation from  early dawn to sunset to exhaust me, or taking me and my 12 colleagues every couple of weeks to the court to see the ‘renewal judge’ in more than 20 armoured vehicles, blindfolded, handcuffed and leg-cuffed, keeping us for hours from dawn to noon in very cold cells in the basement with no food and no medicine (F has diabetes, K has blood pressure and H has cancer!). They were treating us very harshly and tying us to each other. They made our ultimate goal going back to jail.

Anyway; the preliminary decision was to decide on bail and in January 2017, I was granted bail by the court (alongside with all my colleagues). This was, I believe, an indication of what the court thought about the case. It was clear that the case was weak.

The Public Prosecutor was furious

The Public Prosecutor was furious about this. He clearly needed to change tact; he was phoned by the head of the judicial body, so he could not repeat what he did in November 2016 when I was called back to jail for the same case with a different complaint. This time he contacted the Prosecutor of the Misdemeanours and agreed with him that any complaints that came to the Public Prosecutor would not be merged with the main case as the head of the judicial body commanded; they (the Public Prosecution) would reject them and ask the complainers to go to the Misdemeanours Prosecution which (in the Kuwaiti legal system) follows the Ministry of Interior Affairs.

I was released along with my colleagues on the 26th January 2017. Right after our release, on the 2nd February we were called by Salmiah police station to attend an interrogation for one complaint related to the same subject.

My lawyer went first and kept trying to explain to them that we had just been released from the upper court, which is much higher (legally) than a police station! They refused to listen and asked for me and three of my assistants to attend. This was on a Thursday (deliberately) because it was the end of the week, so they could keep us until Sunday in custody!

We went to the police station at 2pm and they kept delaying it. By 8pm, they told us: “All the interrogators have left the department and you have to stay in custody for three days until Sunday.” Our lawyer tried his best; he even told one interrogator that he would sponsor us. Although he was a reputable lawyer in Kuwait, the interrogator told him: “Mr. Khaled I’m sorry it’s out of my hands, this order is from above.”

We spent the night in custody expecting that we would wait until Sunday

We spent the night in custody expecting that we would wait until Sunday. Surprisingly, on Friday at 10am we were called for interrogation upstairs. When I entered the interrogation room, I found my lawyer smiling. Then an interrogator asked me a couple of questions and asked me to sign off.  Eventually, we were released on bail because our lawyer spent the night making some phone calls. Our lawyer found out that the deputy chief of the misdemeanour’s prosecution was his ex-school mate who has just been promoted to this title, and as we were jailed by a phone call, we were released by a phone call. The Public Prosecutor realised that the Felony Court thought the case was weak, so he tried this approach twice (the incident I mentioned in February and another one in April). Despite all the media work he was doing he couldn’t influence my investors to make a group complaint that proved his point of view of a massive fraud and excused the torture and persecution he practiced. This was further evidence that the prosecutor was under immense pressure from the powers that be to pursue me at all costs, no matter how absurd.

The Trial Commenced in December 2016

2017

I Was Released Along with My Colleagues on the 26th January 2017

Released on Bail

After we’d all been set free (13 defendants) there was a massive amount of work to be done. We had to start communicating with our clients, we had to start using our connections to help in this case, and we had to start liquidating our assets in Dubai and Turkey to pay our clients so that we could keep our company going and prove our innocence, as well as show our clients that we deserved their trust.

The surprise was that most of my employees (jail mates) who were so loyal to me and never disobeyed my orders were very scared and frightened and refused to work. They were not directly telling me that they did not want to work anymore, but they were hiding at home and switching off their phones and not answering any call from me or from the investors. They were scared that they would be jailed again, like what had happened to me in November 2016 when I was released on bail and jailed again for illustrating my payment plan to the investors.

I don’t blame them because to put up with the SSS cell and the ‘zero’ cell – and the jail situation itself – requires a very strong mind. They were frightened; they just wanted to be left behind the scenes and forgotten about by the prosecutor. I couldn’t see most of them anymore, except during court sessions. So, I was almost left alone fighting for justice with my strong lawyer and a few of my staff.

Such problems in that part of the world are solved by making a simple phone call, just like they are created by a phone call. To seek help, I managed to arrange a meeting with the ambassador of Sudan in Kuwait, since the relationship between Sudan and Kuwait was very good in those days. I met him in his house in Janoob Al-Surrah and he had a good idea about our case, as my brother and my lawyer had met the ambassador in Dubai during my arrest in October 2016.

This time I explained to him my case, as well as talking about his desire to develop the embassy’s building. He told me he would set two meetings: with the Minister of Defence (the son of the prince of Kuwait), as well as the former Prime Minister (a strong influencer inside the royal family and about Kuwaiti political decisions). For me these big names were enough to solve the problem.

I waited for 10 days, then visited the ambassador again (but this time in his office in the embassy in Jabriah). He told me that he attended the two appointments and talked to them. He also said that he needed their help to register his son in a Kuwaiti university. During his conversations with both of them, he brought up the subject of our case and waited for their answers (which he expected would be positive). After several days passed, he stopped answering my phone calls or sometimes answered in a cold way. A few months later, after being pushed by my journalist brother in Sudan, the ambassador invited me to his new house in Jabriah and told me that the answer they gave was: “Any personal requests like registering your son in the university is totally fine, but please don’t interfere in Ahmed Dahab’s case, because many big people want his head.” The Sudanese ambassador`s attempt failed, and this once again proved to us the scale of the problem.

In the meantime, I was trying to make a better connection with the investors

In the meantime, I was trying to make a better connection with the investors (who had formed into five WhatsApp groups; each group had 256 members). These groups managed to form a committee of 35 investors who visited the chief of the judicial supreme council and helped in merging the two cases together; as result of this we were released on bail. These groups represented almost 4,500 investors. As this group had managed to visit and influence the judicial supreme council, they also decided to visit the parliament speaker, who was a very strong and important man in Kuwait.

Even though I told them that visiting him could be a massive backfire for us – since he was the head of Kuwaiti Club, the opponent of my club Qadsiah – they decided to visit him along with my lawyer. They thought it would be in his own interest to interfere and solve such a case involving 4,500 families (which would bring him more votes in the coming elections). They managed to visit him in February in the parliament, and they also called the head of Kuwait Central Bank to allow us to access KD 10M (£22 million) to pay the investors. The Central Bank chief initially said yes, but when he found out that this money was for TMAS (our company) he said: “Sorry we cannot do it.” (This was witnessed by my lawyer as well as the parliament speaker, four MPs and 35 investors.)

In the meantime, the prosecution was doing everything possible to have people complain about us to prove that this was a case of fraud. Although they had been trying to do this for the past three years, they had never succeeded. Because of the interference of the judicial supreme council chief they changed their tactics and started to delay the case decision as long as possible, so the investors would get bored of the inability of the company paying them and would file collective cases against us.

The court hearing was determined to be on the 9th February

The court hearing was determined to be on the 9th February, then the prosecution asked it to be postponed to the 16th March and then to the 6th April. Because of the constant and deliberate delays, I started to feel more pressure from the investors and many MP clients also stopped supporting us.

  1. In the meantime, I started to pay the investors from my own personal savings which I had in Dubai. I also offered to register all the assets which were in my name in their names. I offered my properties to be registered under a client`s name equivalent to the amount they invested in the company (this was our offer since they stopped me paying my investors). Some preferred to take this offer to protect their rights (250 properties were registered in investors` names), whilst others preferred to wait until the case was solved and take their money in cash. On top of this I paid over £1.5 million from my own personal account in Dubai to the investors. I also started to liquidate the company’s assets in Dubai and managed to sell a half-built land for £3 million. I started making strong payments to the investors from March to April 2017.
  1. The prosecution was not happy with these payments, but they couldn’t stop me because I was released by the criminal court.
  1. The prosecution started a negative campaign through fake Twitter accounts. Even so, I continued to pay, and investors were very pleased about the payments. There were only 10 complaints among 4,500 investors and these few complaints were made by less educated clients under the influence of the prosecution.
  1. I also took a £2.5 million loan from Al-Mashreq Bank in Dubai with the guarantee of the nine villas the company owned in Dubai; this was also distributed to the clients. It was a big slap in the face of the prosecution, which couldn’t even push the investors to complain at the misdemeanour prosecution anymore. So, they raised the level of the negative campaign from negative Twitter comments to fake news in Al-Anba’a newspaper. They said: “This company is distributing cash and cheques to its investors. They are breaching the law and the regulations of the ministry of commerce.” (This was not true, because the amounts were less than KD3,000, which is £7,500.)

Meanwhile, the case kept being postponed by the prosecution for meaningless reasons. The hearing was supposed to take place on the 9th February, but it was postponed to the 16th March, then again to the 6th April. Finally, the court took place on the 6th April, but this time the judge delayed the verdict until the 25th May.

My lawyer used to have an associate who worked in the justice palace. He would give inside information about my case to my lawyer, and apparently one of the judges said that the TMAS case is very weak and will be dismissed. In addition to this, the secretary of the judge told my lawyer that a ‘not guilty’ verdict was written and ready to be signed by the judge.

On the 15th May, my lawyer took me to see a judge in justice palace and they confirmed that the verdict was not guilty

On the 15th May, my lawyer took me to see a judge in justice palace and they confirmed that the verdict was not guilty. We were very happy as justice was finally being served. But unfortunately, our celebrations did not last long as the verdict was ‘retrial’ and we were back to square one. We were told that there was massive pressure on the judge to give a verdict against us and he asked the Ministry of Commerce to testify whether our activities were licensed (although we previously proved they were and provided all licenses). The case was delayed until 22nd June 2017 to hear the testimony of the Ministry of Commerce and to open the files that the prosecution with the SSS squad forfeited from the company during the big raid on 27th October 2016.

The reason for the delay of the case was to push as many investors as possible to file a complaint against us. But I never stopped paying the investors. I sold land in Dubai, took a mortgage, registered the flats in Turkey under the investors’ names, and started to sell the mortgaged nine villas in Dubai one by one to be able to pay the investors.

I was able to sell an average of one villa every month. When I would sell a villa, I would pay 40% (the mortgage value) to the bank and the remaining 60% (around £400,000) to the investors.

Meanwhile, one investor introduced me to a well-connected woman in the royal family who was strongly willing to help us to settle the case by making ’a phone call’ as she said. She was very positive at the beginning and made several useful phone calls. After almost two weeks of making phone calls to settle the case, this brave and well-connected lady suddenly turned into someone else. She asked to see me and told me: “I have tried to help you, but it seems the level of your enmity is very strong.  But don’t worry, Allah will help you to conquer them, I’m sure of that.”

Around the same time, I was once again called to the Salmiah police station where there was a separate complaint against me. While I was waiting, I witnessed the beating of a Bangladeshi man who was accused of robbery. There was loud shouting, swearing and sounds of beating. After some time, two police officers came out of the room to have a break. They started to laugh, before re-entering the room and carrying on beating the accused man.

On the 22nd June, the Ministry of Commerce did not attend the court session to provide testimony. This was because the Minister of Commerce was an ally of the Kuwaiti Club. The purpose of not attending the court session was to cause more delays so our investors would give up and start to file complaints against us.

The judge delayed the case until the end of July. Meanwhile, not only did the Ministry of Commerce not attend the court session, it also sent a force of 20 people to sit in the company for three weeks on the grounds of auditing the company’s files. The actual reason for doing this was to unsettle the investors and make them think that the company had problems. They didn’t leave the company for three weeks until my assistant managed to approach the head of the inspection team. The head of the inspection team told my assistant to contact a lawyer called MB. After we contacted the lawyer, they left the company. It was a sort of bribery too.

Once again, we tried to contact the Shiekh, as unfortunately the application to form the company was rejected by the Minister of Commerce, who followed the orders of the businessmen lobby.

The Shiekh visited the Minister of Commerce to pass the application

The Shiekh visited the Minister of Commerce to pass the application. Instead of influencing the minister and passing the application, the Shiekh phoned us in a scared tone of voice and asked us to meet him in his office. When we met him, he told us: “Sons, the minister told me to step down because the level of enmity of TMAS is extremely high. I am sorry I can’t do anything.”

At the end of July, the court session took place and the two witnesses from the ministry of commerce attended. The judge’s questions were all about whether our activities were licensed by them. Although the witnesses tried to answer in a way to show that we were guilty (because they were pushed by their bosses), they couldn’t because the questions were very specific, and we had all the licenses approved and stamped by them. Once again it was proved that not only had we not committed a crime, we had not even breached the law. Nevertheless, the judge delayed the case to the 27th August.

In early August the Emirates Islamic Bank sent me a letter stating that it no longer wanted to bank with me. This was probably because of the large number of payments I had sent through this bank account to my investors. Nevertheless, I continued paying from my Al-Mashreq bank account which I had opened three months earlier.

Once Again, the Managers Testified 100% in Our Favour

Further Delays

On the 27th August the postponed court session took place. This time two managers from the Ministry of Commerce attended court to testify. Once again, the managers testified 100% in our favour. But once again we were disappointed, as the judge not only delayed our case until the 20th October, he also added two new charges against us (practicing unlicensed activity and calling for a collective investment).

It was obvious that the judge was under pressure and torn between his conscience and the pressure practised by the powers that be.

This prolonged period made me put even more effort into my investors. As I mentioned earlier, they formed five WhatsApp groups to communicate and support me. All the group members sympathised with me. One of the group leaders phoned me and told me that he had received fresh and dangerous news! To speak about the news, he came to my house and told me that he had a lawyer friend who was very close to the public prosecutor. He said that a meeting was held between the Public Prosecutor and the Police General, who is the prosecutor of misdemeanours court (as per the Kuwaiti legal system structure). He continued: “The Public Prosecutor cannot do anything more in felony court, so he has changed tactics to focus on sending all the cases to the Misdemeanours Court.  By doing this, you will have separate complaints in separate court cases. If you manage to survive from one you cannot survive from the others.”

Initially I had doubts about the credibility of this information, but it disappeared when another WhatsApp group leader asked for a private meeting and gave me the same information.

Then in October, we received a letter stating that we had two misdemeanour court cases in one week with the same judge. This was unusual because normally the same case is not given to the same judge as this may indicate unfairness.

The first case was filed against my assistant and he received a quick verdict of a three-year jail sentence

The first case was filed against my assistant and he received a quick verdict of a three-year jail sentence. The second one was filed against me, Z, T and A, and the verdict was also three-year jail sentences. The decision was made on the same day of the court. We requested a change of judge, but it was refused.

The Misdemeanours Court judges are junior judges and much easier to put pressure on than felony judges. On 18th October I was convicted and given the maximum sentence of three years in prison. But in January the case was overturned by the appeal court and I was found not guilty. But the prosecutor continued filing cases against us and I realised it was not safe for me to stay in Kuwait, despite desperately wanting to clear my name. I hid at my friend’s house for three weeks; my plan was to hide until the time to appeal arrived.

As I was hiding at my friend’s home there was a last ray of hope that emerged. A high-level government delegation of Sudan announced that it was visiting Kuwait. This delegation consisted of the President of Sudan (currently the ex-president), a number of ministers, and the head (chief) of the Sudan Intelligence Agency. My brother who lives in Sudan is an opposition journalist and the government would be happy to do him a favour to calm him down. My brother used his connections and managed to ‘re-raise’ my issue to the President’s brother, who conveyed the message to the President and the intelligence chief. They were highly enthusiastic about solving the problem and gave us high hopes. But they couldn’t, so they helped in another way.

The last hearing took place in my absence in December 2017

The last hearing took place in my absence in December 2017. My lawyer did a good job and clarified everything in court, but he was banned from defending me because I was absent. The final hearing was on the 15th December. Right after the final hearing, Al-Jareeda newspaper fabricated a news article about `stolen files` from the TMAS case.

Again, a couple of days later the public prosecution filed a new case for fraud and money laundering against me and my colleagues. It was the same case as before; just the date was different. They said the main case was about the years 2015 and 2016 and the new case was about the end of the year 2016. We were charged for paying the investors their money. This case was not only filed against the 14 defendants, it was filed against all 33 non-Kuwaiti employees too. It was obvious to us that this case was against the non-Kuwaitis only.

When one of the defendants went for interrogation for the first time he was released on bail because he was with a Kuwaiti defendant. When he was called for the second time for the same case, he was by himself and jailed for four months.

On the 18th January 2018, the verdict of the main case which everybody had been waiting for was issued

On the 18th January 2018, the verdict of the main case which everybody had been waiting for was issued. The verdict was NOT GUILTY FOR ALL THE DEFENDANTS OF FRAUD AND MONEY LAUNDERING. But we were convicted of practising unlicensed activity, even though the witnesses from the Ministry of Commerce testified that we were given licenses for every single advert.

For us the verdict was a victory and a slap in the face of the Public Prosecutor. We were all convinced that this was the best that the judge could do under massive pressure. Even my lawyer said: “Ahmed we thank God for the verdict and for the honest and fair judge. Any judge who has a tiny sense of justice would not find a way to find you guilty.”

On the 15th January, three days before the verdict, I started to use my Twitter account to illustrate the massive unjustness and unfairness I had faced in my case. My tweets were harsh but polite and I didn’t post anything personal. I did not use any swearing or insulting words towards the Public Prosecutor or his deputy. Unfortunately, these countries are so arrogant and tyrannical they don’t welcome even minimal criticism against them.

2018

On the 21st January They Issued an International Arrest Warrant

The Warrant for My Arrest

On the 21st January they issued an international arrest warrant because they were sure I wouldn’t have dared to criticise them unless I was out of Kuwait. We know that the Public Prosecutor went mad over the tweets and every day he was inviting the SSS chief to find a way to bring me back to Kuwait. A few months later I was convicted ‘in my absence’ of posting negative tweets against the Public Prosecutor and his assistant and I was given a six-month jail sentence. This six-month jail sentence was given for only one tweet about their unjust behaviour.

In February 2018, we managed to have the case go to an honest judge. My lawyer and his team of counsels always believe that the case was very weak, and all we needed was an honest judge and a fair trial.

Two weeks later my lawyer’s assistant called me with a sad voice and told me: “He apologised that he cannot take the case because of the pressure he faced from the powers.” He had to decide between his conscience and the powers that be. So, he chose the third option which was to step down and not take the case. Then the case went to another judge who again stepped down for the same reasons. Then finally it went to a judge who is well known in Kuwait to be the biggest ally and close friends with the Public Prosecutor.

This told me that the case was almost over, and we had no hope since the judge was a close friend of the Public Prosecutor. The only thing we could do was pray that he had some fairness and pride that would lead him to a fair trial.

To be honest I can’t write much about the appeal case and the second fabricated case because during that time I was in the UK and didn’t witness them. But I have been told about the breeches:

First Breech: I was not officially informed through the Kuwait newspaper about the appeal of the money laundering case. The court decided in my absence and skipped my right to oppose the first verdict and defend myself.

Second Breech: The court did not reply to the first judge’s decision and did not mention his reasons for finding us not guilty.

Third Breech: The court took the police as the only witnesses. It appears that the police read the charges filed by the prosecution itself and came to a quick decision in just 90 minutes, saying that: “yes they do money laundering.” 

Fourth Breech: The lady called K was the buyer of the whole project in Turkey, so the police investigator said she was the main source of the information and the most important witness. However, the prosecution said the opposite. They said this Kuwaiti lady was not part of the case either as a defendant or as a witness. The police and the prosecutor contradicted each other.

Fifth Breech: Last but not least, the court said it was money laundering of 2 million Kuwaiti dinars whereas the prosecution said it was 109 million Kuwaiti dinars. One more important situation that occurred during the case was that the judge asked the financial investigation unit’s chief why he filed a case against TMAS. The financial chief answered: “Because they don’t have properties in their name.” Even the judge was laughing at this answer.

After the not guilty verdict in January 2018

After the not guilty verdict in January 2018 – knowing that I was out of Kuwait, claiming that some case files were missing, and not being able to bribe my lawyer to stop defending me – as a last resort they JAILED MY LAWYER. They made up a case against my lawyer (even though he is the number one lawyer in Kuwait, and he is from the same elite social group they belong to).

They claimed that some files had been stolen from the court and asked the assistant of my lawyer to come for investigation. When she went there, they searched her phone and found one private video of her with her boyfriend. They blackmailed her, saying that she either had to confess that she had bribed the court secretaries to get some files, or the video with her boyfriend would be broadcast across social media (this was her formal statement before the case went to court and this incident was also published in the newspapers).

Before the girl’s lawyer arrived, the prosecutor agent told her: Either you confirm what you said to the police, or the video will be on social media.” The case went to one of the biggest allies of the Public Prosecutor. The judge convicted the girl, as well as my lawyer and his two assistants. Each of them received a one-year jail sentence and they were all sent to the central jail. One thing worth mentioning is that, even though this case was a bribery case, the prosecution agent turned it into a money laundering case. This was the only way this case could be controlled by the Public Prosecutor. Otherwise, it would have gone to the misdemeanours court where he had a low level of influence.

My lawyer and his assistants were jailed

My lawyer and his assistants were jailed from April 2019 until October 2019. Although their jail time was one year, they were released on bail after six months. The appeal judge was from the same close social group as my lawyer. Apparently, the prosecution just wanted to tweak my lawyer’s ears and teach him a lesson. The appeal case verdict came as a favour for my lawyer and his assistants.

2019

Over Three Thousand Investors Flew to Our Office in Turkey and Applied for the New Shares

Paying the Rest of Our Investors

Jailing my lawyer made me 100% sure that there was no use fighting for justice. Therefore, I decided to liquidate more assets and pay the rest of our investors. I also started to plan another effective way to pay the investors. I came up with a new business idea in the UK named Washare. It is a mobile application that enables people to make money while sitting at home by putting their washing machine to work. Anybody who owns a washing machine and has spare time will be linked by the Washare application, making it perfect for people who want to get their laundry washed at almost half the price of their local launderette.

The service providers are the individuals, who have almost zero costs and can make money from home. The end users are getting their clothes washed and ironed for half price, and thousands of jobs are created. I make 25% commission on each transaction, which is my profit so my investors can be paid.  I did the marketing, financial and legal research for months by myself. I started to do the programming with an experienced company and consulted three QCs and financial advisers about the best formation of the company. In October 2018, after I made sure everything was on the right track, I announced through my Twitter account to my investors that another business idea was ready to take off. My enemies in Kuwait reactivated their negative media tools and said I was a liar and that there was no such company and no such application existed.

I gifted almost all my shares to my investors proportionally

I gifted almost all my shares to my investors proportionally to their invested money in TMAS. I also told them whoever wanted to invest more in the new project could do so. Over three thousand investors flew to our office in Turkey and applied for the new shares. In addition to this, hundreds of them invested large cash amounts into the new idea. Although they had not been told what the new business idea was yet, they trusted me and my reputation I built in Kuwait and strongly believed that the case against me was unjust and fabricated to wipe me off the business scene.

I am very happy, not only because the investment for the new business was millions of pounds, but because the trust I built over the years with my investors paid off. When I was in jail in 2017 more than 1,600 testimonials were submitted by my investors to confirm that I was trustworthy, but their real expression of trust was investing real money into my new business idea Washare.

On the 18th February the appeal verdict came against us

On the 18th February the appeal verdict came against us. We were not shocked by the verdict; we had been prepared for it since the case went to the judge who was the biggest ally of the Public Prosecutor. However, we still had some small hope that he would have some sense of justice and self-respect. The verdict was the maximum penalty of 10 years jail sentence for me, five years for my 13 assistants, and not guilty for the Kuwaiti partners.

Also, the appeal judge cancelled the new charges that the first judge had added to the case last year. I was not guilty of the minor charges of breaching the business rules and regulations.  But I was convicted of the big charges of money laundering on various grounds.

Another important thing to mention is that in December 2018 at the final hearing of the case, the judge delayed the verdict until the 11th February 2019. Then when the time came, people we knew inside the court told us that the verdict was issued in favour of us, and the not guilty verdict was already printed out and waiting for the judge’s signature! Then the day when the judge was supposed to read the verdict, the court was delayed for one more week.  Everybody was saying: what can the judge do in one week that he couldn’t do in two months?

But apparently this was the time when he received a phone call to change his verdict. In most cases public prosecutors don’t intervene with the judge directly or immediately. Initially they let the judge deal with the case and wait for the decision to come up. If the judge`s verdict is the way they wanted they don’t interfere. But if they see that the judge`s verdict is not the one they want, they interfere. In important cases like mine the Royal Palace interferes.

Finally, on the 17th April

Finally, on the 17th April, the National Bank of Kuwait and some other banks in Kuwait issued an internal memo to its employees not to receive any money (dividends) sent to the Kuwaiti investors by Washare UK. I am not the part of Washare anymore as I transferred my shares to the investors; it belongs to them, not me. Therefore, they are eligible to receive their dividends. Although this memo was not good for the investors and for the business, it proved that they have done everything to knock me out of business and make me leave Kuwait, and they are still trying to stop me doing business in the UK by barring investors from receiving their dividends.

Once more it has been proved that the individuals behind all these plots are the ’big boys’ of Kuwait: the owners of the National Bank of Kuwait and the chairman of the Kuwaiti Football Club.