Consular help sought for 12 Indians in Bahrain

Dubai, March 1: Indian officials have requested consular assistance for 12 Indians in Bahrain who have been arrested for a money-laundering scam.

A relative of one of those arrested made the request to the Indian embassy in Manama during the mission’s monthly Open House Friday, the Gulf Daily News reported Saturday.

In all, 15 people will go on trial Sunday for being part of the operation that transferred up to 350 million Bahraini dinars (over $928 million).

Eleven managers and employees of a money exchange company and four other accomlices have been charged with illegally transferring money to that Gulf nation.

“We will try to push for consular rights and allow access to families for the 12 Indians arrested in connection with this crime,” Indian Ambassador Mohan Kumar was quoted.

But he said his officials could not interfere because of the nature of the crime, and they “respect the Bahrain law”.

According to the report, the operation was busted after the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) alerted the interior ministry’s Anti-Corruption and Economic and Electronic Security Directorate to the irregularities which may hurt Bahrain’s “financial standing”.

The suspects were caught following a major investigation spanning Bahrain and reportedly regional countries including the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The ring members have been charged with hiding data, failing to provide registers documenting the company’s transactions and providing the CBB with false information, in addition to money-laundering, illegal transferring and forging documents.

IANS