Ministry sends 15 firms suspected of real estate fraud to prosecution

February 24, 2019

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 23: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has so far received about 659 real estate complaints filed against 62 companies with the total amount estimated at 32.6 million dinars, reports Al-Rai daily quoting reliable sources.

These figures will weaken the recent unofficial estimates from more than one party, which reported the existence of fraud real estate operations worth about 600 million dinars.

The sources pointed out that what is known as the mass victims of the real estate fraud, the ministry has said it has received about 1,000 complaints about the fraudulent real estate operations, but does not have the documents required to support all these complaints.

The sources explained the ministry has referred to the Prosecution 15 companies suspected of the real estate fraud, while taking precautionary measures against 14 companies, including the suspension of some of them. The sources said that the ministry is waiting for the issuance of money laundering report against 6 companies, to determine the eligibility for referral to the prosecution.

A complaint has been filed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and three companies were found guilty of their activities, pointing out that complaints were dismissed as belonging to civil cases and related to contractual disputes.

Sources pointed out that the real estate map supersedes the complaints inside Kuwait, including the areas of the Khairan Pearl, Bneid Al-Qar and Sabah Al-Ahmad Maritime. Other companies are based in Egypt, Bahrain, Bosnia, UAE, Lebanon, Oman, Jordan, the Sudan, Spain, Britain, Georgia, Turkey, Austria, Bulgaria, France, Holland, America, Germany, Thailand and Italy.

The sources pointed out that there are 31 complaints filed by the Kuwaiti judiciary, including one with the Egyptian judiciary, five in Turkey, one in the Netherlands, one in Britain, one in Germany and one in the UAE, while the case has yet to be settled in one of the complaints between Kuwait and Turkey.

The Ministry’s investigations in this regard showed that a large part of the real estate in dispute was related to contractual terms and conditions, which were beyond the scope of the ministry’s authority, and it was found that there were no contracts signed between some complainants and the companies in dispute and this weakened their legal position.

To date there are 127 complaints filed against one company worth about 6 million dinars, while one complaint against one of the listed companies is worth just over 600 dinars. The sources pointed out that the supervisory limits of the ministry are related to the quality of the complaint. The responsibility is limited to brokerage and the organization of real estate exhibitions in the local market. The Ministry’s role in establishing real estate exhibitions in Kuwait is by ensuring that there is a commercial license