Fake reps charge double to clear transactions
KUWAIT CITY, Nov 14: The ramifications of the measures taken to confront the spread of the COVID- 19 pandemic since its emergence has led to a pile up of transactions in all state agencies, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reports Al-Qabas daily. Despite the efforts exerted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and all state agencies to regulate the process of completing the transactions of clients through the booking of appointments, which is in implementation of the health precautionary measures, many have been complaining against the attestation department due to the delay in completion of their transactions as the process of booking appointment can extend to 14 days.
This delay has led to emergence of brokers and middlemen who claim to be able to complete transactions without the need for setting up an appointment.
They charge a sum that is equivalent to the actual fees that a client would have paid when served by the official department. The phenomenon has sparked repeated complaints from the public about the delay of appointments given by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ platform to those who want to visit the attestation section.
There are advertisements appearing on social media platforms from fake accounts stating the provision of the attestation service, provided that communication is carried out via private messages.
The daily contacted two individuals who are involved in this business, but one of them deleted his account after realizing that he was dealing with a journalist. The other sent his phone number and was actually contacted. He asked KD 10 for the stamp, which actually costs KD 5. He also asked for KD 15 for fast-tracking the process without the need of booking an appointment.
When referring to a security source to ask about these transactions, he indicated that the concerned authorities have been monitoring advertisements for government services, appointment systems, and seals, and those who publish them are summoned and probed before taking legal actions. In one of the attestation centers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, employees affirmed that they do not agree to stamp or sign any transaction that does not concern the owner of that transaction or his children or any firstdegree relative.
They stressed that instructions from the ministry’s officials about this matter are clear, revealing that the penalty imposed on anyone who tries to pass transactions submitted by the unconcerned person is the cancellation of that transaction.