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NBK nearly employs Aussie embezzler

Gulf of credibility baulks Aussie banker: Australian banker attempts to avoid jail time and earn enough to repay embezzled funds by taking a position at the National Bank of Kuwait.

An Australian banker thought he had found a novel approach to avoiding a lengthy jail sentence – a job in the Gulf that was sufficiently well paid to enable him to refund a large sum he had stolen from his previous employer.

Jason Huigens, a chronic gambler, stole A$133,640 (US$95,822) in 2005 from St George Bank, where he worked as a liaison officer dealing with the bank’s large corporate clients, to pay for his addiction.

A Brisbane judge gave him permission to take up a A$190,000 job with the National Bank of Kuwait, and suspended sentence until his return in the second half of the year. There is no extradition treaty between Kuwait and Australia.

The judge took this unusual decision partly because gambling is banned in Kuwait. But the plan ultimately fell through – NBK apparently withdrew the job offer after having learnt of Huigens’ shady past.

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