According to a recent report by Al-Anba daily, “Ahmadi Security Director Brigadier Abdullah Safa has sent an official letter to Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior Lieutenant General Suleiman Al-Fahad, requesting the deportation of 64 hawkers who were arrested from a makeshift market in Mahboula area as well as four expatriates who violated the residency law” (See Arab Times, Jan 23, 2016). A hawker is someone who sells wares in the street, an illegal act in Kuwait.
I always wonder why some individuals insist on violating our Municipal and health laws and regulations by selling wares in makeshift markets. Such kind of violations represent a vulgar abuse of every law in the land!
Moreover, those who set up illegal makeshift markets in residential or bachelor areas tend also to engage in other illegal activities like hiding absconders, therefore creating a havoc in our labor market. Yet, deporting hawkers and absconders may not reduce the number of such crimes! The government needs for example to introduce heavy financial penalties on those who engage in such illegal activities, and if such individuals fail to pay the penalties and fines, their embassies should pay instead! No one has the right to create havoc in our local economy by setting up makeshift markets whenever or wherever they choose.
Furthermore, why not for instance arrest those who frequent such illegal markets. An individual who intentionally approaches hawkers to buy from them is one way or the other an accomplice in the crime. In fact, the only effective way to deal with the phenomenon of some expats committing crimes is to increase security checks, initiate a more effective raids program, offer more rewards to those who inform about illegals and criminals.
Even though I recognize the efforts of our hard working expats in fighting crime, however, we wait to see more expats’ cooperation with the Ministry of Interior. I know for example that many of my expatriate friends applaud the continual efforts of our government in cracking down on hawkers in makeshift markets.
The criminal acts committed by a minority of law-violators do not represent the rest of our expat population.
Those who think that they can turn into machos or petty criminals whenever they like, or form gangs or swindle expats and citizens in Kuwait, and those who engage in disruptive behaviors in public should be punished severely. I call upon the Ministry of Interior to increase its security campaigns and refocus its efforts on highly congested areas like industrial and bachelor blocks in or around residential areas. Our law-abiding expats can help our security men by informing about determined violators of residency laws or anyone with a suspicious character.
By Khaled Aljenfawi