Govt gets tough, wants end to visa peddling crime
KUWAIT CITY, April 23, (Agencies): The fight against human trafficking is no longer a luxury, because human trade have severe repercussions which the country witnessed after the spread of the coronavirus and prompted the government to declare an all out war against the criminals who operate from inside and outside the country, reports Al- Seyassah daily.
According to a high-level source the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Anas Al-Saleh has an open mandate from the government to put an end to this crime. For His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled confronting this crime (trafficking in humans and visa trade) has become a priority and he has introduced a system to investigate suspect companies and individuals.
The source revealed Minister of Interior has obtained a list of the names of former MPs and ministers and businessmen suspected of having links to the visa trade file.
In a striking paradox, the source confirmed the number of residence law violators – particularly the Egyptians and Bangladeshis – almost doubled after the formation of the Public Authority for Manpower concerning manpower which was earlier was the responsibility of the Ministry of Social Affairs and resulted in manipulation in estimating the need of some small projects saying fingers point in the direction of senior officials whose involvement cannot be ruled out.
A reliable source told the daily the Acting Director of Immigration Investigations, Colonel Sheikh Abdullah Al-Malik, was granted powers not to entertain interference from any party in favor of people who are suspected of human trafficking in addition to assigning a number of officers and individuals who have vast extensive experience security matters to put an end to the trafficking menace.
The source explained the Ministry of Interior has put in place new mechanisms to control “human trafficking” with special focus on those who facilitated the entry of vast numbers of expatriates. The source added the focus is also on the so-called ‘brokers’ and owners of companies and individuals in the area of recruiting labor and receiving huge sums of money.
The authorities have organized secret field visits to the violators of the residence law to know who brought them into the country and/or how much money they paid to get the job in Kuwait.
The source pointed out, the procedures taken include deportation of the violators of the residence law and their sponsors forced to pay for the accommodation expenses, travel tickets and monetary fines.
The Ministry of Interior is also checking the records of contracting companies especially those which employ more than 50 workers as well as SMEs and industrial plots sub-leased to expatriates, whether they are car repair garages or fake factories, in addition to mobile groceries, health clubs, women’s and men’s beauty parlors, farms, fishing licenses and mobile taxis licences, most of which belong to some senior employees of the Interior Ministry.
The source stressed there is intention, after deporting violators of residence law and after the amnesty period ends to arrest violators who have failed to take advantage of the amnesty. In the meantime, the source revealed four more Kuwaitis who are allegedly involved in trading in visas have been arrested after some of the violators disclosed the details of their plight. Also arrested are the Egyptian and Bangladeshi brokers.
In the meantime Representative MP Dr. Hammoud Al-Khudair has denied as lies and slander what has been published in the some media that he owns a company and has in his company file thousands of workers. He also denied signing any contract with an oil company. Al-Khudair said in a press statement, “I challenge those who have promoted these allegations to submit one proof of my ownership of a company or any document to show I am doing any business.”