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32 cars seized, 255 citations issued in Jleeb, Farwaniya raids
Wasta, lawmakers interference encouraging spread of crimes Sulaibiya hotbed of unlicensed arms

KUWAIT CITY, May 9: In an attempt to curb prevalence of firearms and the growing rate of robbery and murder, the Assistant Undersecretary of Criminal Investigation Affairs Major General Abdulhameed Al-Awadhi has said security teams consisting of law enforcement officers and detectives have been formed under his command to arrest any person possessing a firearm at any place.

He also said sub-teams were formed to operate in all six governorates and at the borders to monitor the movement of suspects and individuals who are wanted by law. In a statement, Major General Al- Awadhi affirmed that the Deputy Premier, Minister of Interior Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled had issued strict directives to activate the security units he ordered to be formed for the purpose of finding firearms and to arrest wanted people, especially individuals accused of assaulting policemen and resisting arrest. He said the security units have since managed to arrest 16 wanted people and other individuals possessing arms. He revealed that Sulaibiya has been classified as the center of unlicensed firearms based on intensive investigations relating to the spread of firearms. Al-Awadhi indicated “the prevalence of firearms is threatening, especially when it becomes a form of social prestige and trade”. He noted “these two instances pose danger to state security but the Interior Ministry has vowed never to allow matters reach that level”.

Meanwhile, high ranking sources from the Ministry of Interior disclosed the statistics of arms confiscated by securitymen, detectives and traffic officers indicate the problem is getting serious, while intelligence suggests the matter has diverted from individual cases of firearm possession as a form of social prestige to become an organized trade. Sources revealed detectives and security operatives have confiscated more than 3,000 pieces of firearm in possession of citizens, GCC nationals, Bedouns and other expatriates, since the beginning of the year.

They indicated information is available as to the prices of unlicensed firearms such as assault rifle which is sold for KD 1,000 to 1,500 and other types of firearms, noting the price of a hunting gun is KD 650, while the bullets sell for KD 1.500. ‘’Detectives have placed under surveillance some shops selling firearms and some areas where firearms are normally repaired”, sources said.

As regards legislation to regulate arms collection, sources indicated lack of laws and the inability of conducting raids without permission from the Public Prosecution hamper the activities of security operatives to arrests, sources added. Also, they cited ‘wasta’ and interference of legislators as encouraging crimes and people to show off their weapons.

By: Mishal Al-Sanousi Al-Seyassah Staff

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