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Give first priority to Kuwaitis to hire domestic workers

Long wait for services provided by company

MP Khalil Al-Saleh

KUWAIT CITY, July 19: MP Khalil Al-Saleh has asked Dura Company for Recruitment of Domestic Workers to give priority to citizens who want to hire domestic workers, reports Al-Anba daily.

He wondered why the company opened the door for expatriates to recruit domestic workers while citizens are waiting in line. He stressed it is unacceptable that citizens continue to wait considering the current domestic workers crisis and the long wait for services provided by the company.

He pointed out the company was established to end the suffering of citizens caused by the high cost of recruiting domestic workers, not to make them suffer more in long queues. He called on the concerned authorities to instruct the company to prioritize applications of citizens, stressing that the government must address this crisis immediately.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Nayef Al-Hajraf said the Unified Customs Law of GCC countries allows customs officers to initiate arrest in two cases — smuggling and resisting arrest which could impede the process of recording violations, investigation or arrest of suspects, reports Al-Rai daily.

In response to the query of MP Khalil Al-Saleh, Al-Hajraf pointed out the ship crew is considered to be in the same capacity as the captain.

Commenting on a video clip posted on social media showing a sailor detained unlawfully and under inhumane conditions, the minister explained the customs authority received complaints from a company which asked why the superintendent at Doha Port delayed issuance of a clearance for their ship to sail.

The minister denounced the allegation made in the video and part of the complaint that the superintendent delayed issuance of clearance until KD 70 fine is paid, in addition to the inhumane treatment of the crew.

He affirmed the customs inspectors issued a citation against the crew after discovering that 90 sacks of ‘Za’taar’ (thyme) were not declared for customs duty in the ship’s bill of lading. Therefore, the customs considered it a smuggling attempt and imposed fine equivalent to 30 percent of the value of undeclared goods as per Article 3/152 of the GCC Unified Customs Law.

However, the company requested the customs to allow them to rectify the error found in the shipment and bill of lading, so the customs withdrew the smuggling attempt case and the corresponding penalty. Furthermore, The prevalence of ‘wasta’ (influence) and parliamentary pressure in the recruitment process has wreaked havoc in the Customs General Department, particularly in several land borders, reports Al- Jarida daily quoting sources.

This led to the cancellation of arrest and search authorities granted to customs personnel who lack judicial power to do so. According to the sources, about 700 employees assigned in the borders graduated from the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAAET) and they specialized in surveying, painting, fl ower arrangement and auto repair.

Sources said these employees have no judicial power to arrest, which is given to customs inspectors and experts in customs safety and security. Sources disclosed several cases have been shelved due to the absence of the signature of those who initiated the search and arrest of suspects.

Sources added the concerned authorities are supposed to transfer such employees to other departments; but due to pressure from influential people, such transfer has been put on hold and this resulted in nonpayment of allowances to some officers.

Sources pointed out several cases, including smuggling of drugs and counterfeit goods, were dismissed. They said this happened after Kuwait became a transit point for some drug traffickers who smuggle narcotics from Iraq to Saudi Arabia or Qatar.

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