Kuwait police investigating social media influencers for money laundering

Police are said to have received calls to investigate a number of stars who have millions of dinars in their accounts



Detectives in Kuwait have been called to investigate several social media influencers for money laundering, according to reports.

Arabic publication Al-Jarida cited sources as confirming the notices regarding more than 10 bank accounts belonging to social media stars.

The sources said the balances in some of the accounts exceeded millions of Kuwaiti dinars and the ‘fashionista’ owners would need to prove their source of income.

The transfers are understood to have come from both individuals and companies and may have been linked to sponsored social media posts.

If any of the unnamed individuals are suspected of money laundering their accounts will be frozen and they will be sent to the public prosecution to face legal action.

Earlier this year, fellow Gulf Cooperation Council member the UAE introduced a licence system for social media influencers in an attempt to regulate what some critics have described as an opaque industry where brands can pay individuals tens of thousands of dollars for a post.

Read: UAE’s National Media Council reveals new system for influencer licences

In July, the Kuwaiti social media scene also received unwelcome attention after a beauty blogger criticised new protections brought in for Filipino domestic workers including the right to keep their travel documents.

“For [a maid] to take a day off every week, that’s four days a month,” she was quoted as saying. “Those are the days that she’ll be out. And we don’t know what she’ll be doing on those days, with her passport on her,” Sondos Alqattan, who has 2.5 million followers on Instagram, said in a now-deleted video.

The backlash led a number of brands to end relationships with the star but she has remained unapologetic and continued to grow her following.

Read: More brands dump Sondos Alqattan as Kuwait social media star remains defiant