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Top brass pointed at as visa scam gets murkier MPs call to set up probe panel

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 14: Everyone waits to see what the Director of the Office of the Minister of Interior has to tell Public Prosecutor about the alleged scandal involving thousands of illegal transactions having been passed by the General Immigration Department, reports Al-Rai daily. What has been disclosed recently has aroused the concern and interest of the Members of Parliament to such an extent some of them have demanded the formation of an inquiry commission.

The General Immigration Department has reportedly given the first hints of the scandal and submitted a report in this regard to Major- General Sheikh Faisal Al- Nawaf, who showed a great interest in the case and provided full details to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khalid. Following this, the sources pointed out, the manager of the Office of the Interior Minister resigned from his job after he was confronted by the minister with available details and reportedly forced him into retirement after promoting him to the rank of Lieutenant-General.

The same sources said more than six members of the ruling family have benefited from the transactions. The sources pointed out, one of them was reportedly getting more than KD 100,000 a month from the illegal transactions. The sources said the surprising thing is the director of the Office of the Interior Minister is well off and in spite of this fact he took bribes. Some sources say the director was a mere victim and signed the transactions as a kind of courtesy and perhaps either he did not know that he was violating a law or that the conditions in the transactions were not met.

Other sources say the Immigration Department was aware of what is happening from the very beginning and that it was discovered during the tenure of former Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al- Hmoud and that some Ministry officials had informed the senior officials and called for action to put an end to such practices before the issue was brought to the attention of Major-General Faisal Al-Nawaf, who expressed interest and responded.

The sources pointed out the First Committee set up by the Minister Al-Khaled and headed by Brigadier Ghazi Al- Manea focused on administrative issues in the Immigration Department and did not go to the core issue of thousands of illegal transactions. It has been reported six Arab company representatives have left the country after the scandal surfaced. An order has been issued to arrest them upon arrival.

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