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Money Laundering Between Criminality and Permissibility

The Kuwaiti Legislator aims at following the global legislations and at being competitive in everything related to legislations. Kuwait has always been occupying the leading ranks when it comes to producing diverse legislations vis a vis other countries as it was the first in relying on local laws, legal system, Kuwaiti civil law, commercial law, and companies law.

When the crime of money laundering had appeared, Kuwait scrambled to issue law number 106 in 2013 in order to fight against this crime. This law has not made such a crime valid unless it is based on two justifications: at first, money should be originated from a crime, second, the culprit should be aware that that money is originated from a crime. The law mentions also that, in case, one of these justifications is not backed up, the accusation will be denied.

The money is considered as issuing from a crime if they come from a private or public property, but if there is a crime of embezzlement consisting of taking money from a public property, this money is deemed as a suspected property. However, if the culprit obtains money mistakably or they are aware, by mistake, that it is their own property, it is not considered as money laundering crime. 

The material side of this crime is represented when the culprit does not take any procedure to justify the legacy of this money. The procedure can be achieved by seizing money while obtaining bills showing goods import or public services from a company. In this case, the culprit’s attempt to impart legitimacy for this money is a mere attempt to seize this money. The culprit can try also to put this money in an account of a company or any other account then take it back as services or commercial dealings. Thus, showing legitimacy for money may happen at the beginning or even later but it is considered the same by law.

Undoubtedly, the crime of money laundering is an intentional crime. It is highly recommended to justify that the culprit is responsible for such a crime and they are aware that the money obtained in an illegal way either through a public authority or swindle. However, the participant with the culprit perhaps cannot be aware that the crime is that of money laundering and, in this perspective, the only person responsible is the culprit.

The aim behind criminalizing money laundering is that such money is used to sponsor terrorism and drugs deals. These crimes stand for economic and social dangers for the whole world.

In this framework, any person is required to put money in his personal account or their company or enterprise account should pay attention because this will lead to dangerous consequences.


Lawyer Abdulrahman Alhouti