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Selling visas for KD 2,000 a thriving trade; Fake companies, marginalized labor

KUWAIT CITY, March 31: “There is no human trafficking in Kuwait. The defendants in 30 labor recruitment cases were convicted as visa traders. There is a big difference between human trafficking and visa trading”, reports Al-Qabas daily quoting reliable sources. They explained that this classification has significance and connotations, the first of which is the lifting of Kuwait’s name internationally from the dangerous accusation of human trafficking, as it has been evident in all judicial rulings that it does not exist. It appears through the extrapolation of the judicial rulings that visa trading is carried out by expatriates who work for the benefit of the owners of fake companies and focus on their countrymen, duping them with employment in exchange for money to obtain a visa.

The average price of such a visa could reach KD 2,000. Thousands of workers are brought in and then dumped on the street, which has increased the number of marginalized workers in Kuwait. The COVID-19 crisis has revealed this phenomenon, which has exhausted the state apparatus. The sources said, “This act of trafficking in residence permits is also carried out by citizens who are owners of companies, because their main concern is to get rich quickly. With weak oversight in the past, the phenomenon of recruiting workers through fake companies has increased”.

They stressed that the Public Prosecution recently submitted a bill in which it demanded an increase in the penalties for these charges, as the perpetrators are only punished with small fines that do not commensurate with the crime, adding, “Therefore, an integrated bill has been presented after a long study and marathon investigations into these issues to determine the loopholes to be covered by law”.

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