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Top officer, 5 others probed in human trafficking

KUWAIT CITY, April 12: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs announced an unidentified Colonel working for the ministry and five others (believed to be his Egyptian partners) have been referred to the Public Prosecution, reports Al-Qabas daily.

The daily quoting security sources said the investigations carried out by the Public Prosecution in coordination with the Ministry of Interior said although more than 1,300 workers are registered under the name of the company owned by the colonel only 300 of them hold the valid residence permit.

The daily quoting the same sources said the colonel owns 13 other companies to bring in more workers. The Prosecution ordered that the accused be detained pending full investigation into the case, after the joint investigations concluded the Colonel is the one who runs the company, and that he once went with some of his partners to Egypt to meet with the workers to hire them to work in Kuwait. Following the partial investigations a number of cases have been filed against the Colonel and his partners. The cases include trafficking in human beings, exploiting his position and violating the labor and forgery law.

However, despite his approval of the company’s management, he denied the accusations attributed to him and the facts mentioned in the Ministry of Interior report. The rest of his partners have confirmed that they were fully aware of what was going on in the company.

In the same context, the daily learned, from its sources, that the Public Prosecutor listened to the testimony of 15 ‘victims’ of visa trade who are referred to by the investigation ‘residence trade’ witnesses. They affirmed they were victims of visa trade and that some of them paid more than 55 thousand Egyptian pounds and others between 1,000 and 1,500 dinars to get a job in Kuwait.

These workers stated that the company brought them and left them on the street, some of whom have not been paid for 6 months. They also said their ATM cards are with the company and their salaries are deposited by the company and withdrawn by the company.

The Prosecution has tasked the General Department of Investigation to complete its investigations. However, the Al-Rai daily said the police officer was managing 17 fake companies and carries the charge of human trafficking. The daily also said most of his victims are Egyptians and each one paid about 1,200 dinars for work visa and 800 dinars every year to renew the residence permit annually.

Meanwhile , the government agencies are currently in the process of preparing the Ministry of Education camp in Kabad behind the radio building to house Egyptian violators of residence law, reports Al-Qabas daily. Reliable sources told the daily the camp has separate rooms and can accommodate about 9,000 people.

The sources explained the Ministry of Interior actually took over the camp last week and the Ministry of Electricity (MoE) will connect power supply.

However, the ministry said laying 4 kilometers of ground cables will be done as soon as possible to make the place ready to receive violators and they will be housed there until they travel. Meanwhile, the Prosecutor’s Office for two days in a row have been interrogating the Colonel who is accused of human trafficking

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