Kuwaiti E-Commerce Startup Faces Money Laundering Allegations

Kuwaiti E-Commerce Startup Faces Money Laundering Allegations

Kuwaiti E-Commerce platform Boutiqaat is under investigation for money laundering. Kuwait’s interior ministry has named ten social media influencers who are being investigated. Their assets have been frozen and they are banned from travelling. Notably, Boutiqaat Co-Founder, Abdulwahab Al Essa, is among the influencers listed by the ministry.

Boutiqaat’s headquarters have allegedly been raided by authorities. Boutiqaat has been accused of helping influencer launder money. However, details about the money laundering operation remain unclear.

The authorities have frozen around 30 million Kuwaiti dinars (approximately $980.3 million) in bank accounts, local media reported. Assets being investigated include luxury yachts, jewelry and watches.

Boutiqaat allows people to set up virtual boutiques to sell their favorite products. Most of the influencers named by the ministry such as Fouz Al Fahad and Farah Al Hady have shops on the platform. The platform sells products from over 700 global brands, including Nike, Benefit and L’Oreal.

The platform was considered among some of the top e-commerce platforms. Last year, the Boutiqaat was valued at $500 million. Although, the money laundering accusations have reportedly decreased purchases.

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