KUWAIT CITY, Nov 19: The Public Prosecution is currently conducting investigations with four expatriates and a Kuwaiti citizen who are accused of human trafficking, reports Al-Qabas daily.
These suspects work at the US base in Camp Arifjan, and had been taking advantage of their position in the base and their knowledge of the system in place, particularly the logistics contracts, to expand their activity.
According to informed sources, those involved in the case received about $10,000 from each of the 1,500 Asian workers for facilitating the issuance of their residencies, and KD 1,000 for facilitating the issuance of each of their driving licenses.
Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) met with the concerned American officials several times to discuss the shortcomings and violations in the contracts. They decided to suspend contracts since last June, and presented a new proposal for government contracts for provision of services to Ministry of Defense for opinion and approval.
The American officials responded positively and quickly. They formed a high-level security team to investigate the case and determine the circumstances. These investigations resulted in the arrest of those involved, termination of some of them from their jobs and deportation of others, with the cooperation of the Kuwaiti authorities.
One of the items that the companies relied on when exploiting the US contracts is the assessment of the needs of workers within the projects of the base, most notably the estimate of about 1,250 workers for the “Texas College Technology Building”. However, the area of the building does not exceed the size of two rooms, and needs only 13 or less workers.
On the other hand, the US Embassy affirmed that the US government is interested in combating human trafficking worldwide and is working closely with the Kuwaiti government to support its efforts to raise awareness, prevent human trafficking and conduct investigations, as well as to prosecute those involved in this phenomenon.