843 companies with 5,911 registered workers suspended

Public Authority for Manpower cracks down on fake companies – Inactive companies founded only to sell visas to expats

KUWAIT: Public Authority for Manpower inspectors are seen during the campaign. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

KUWAIT: The Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) raided fake companies on Sunday evening in the Capital, Hawally and Farwaniya governorates. The inspectors divided into three groups and were accompanied by reporters from various media outlets. The raids resulted in suspending the commercial licenses of 843 companies with 5,911 employees registered with them – 181 companies in the Capital governorate with 1,081 employees; 314 companies in Hawally with 2,144 employees; and 348 companies in Farwaniya with 2,686 employees.
The raids focused mainly on empty offices of fake companies, in addition to other violations. The employees registered with these fake companies are working somewhere else or are unemployed (marginal laborers). The owners of these companies are committing human trafficking, as they only founded a company to sell visas to expats without practicing any commercial activity.

The empty office of a fake company busted during the crackdown.

Regular inspections
This was not the first raid by PAM on fake companies, but the inspections will now be regular and more frequent. “Previous inspections on certain malls proved that all or the majority of the companies there were not practicing any business. The offices were vacant and were very small, and some had few pieces of furniture as a camouflage,” Ahmad Al-Musa, Acting Director General of PAM, said after the raids.
PAM will be cooperating with other public bodies. “We are now cooperating with the Ministry of Commerce and the Public Authority for Civil Information to verify civil registrations and commercial licenses. We will check the total number of commercial licenses and the number of employees registered on each license. The offices that were inspected today are temporarily suspended with code 72. After their representatives come here, they will be transferred to the investigation department with code 71. If they are guilty, the law will be strictly applied on them,” he added.
Inspectors from the labor inspection department will conduct follow-up visits. “They will go on morning and evening inspections. The raids will be regular – monthly or weekly depending on the violations observed by the inspectors on previous visits. Some malls are on the blacklist, and no commercial licenses will be issued as they already have numerous and repeated violations,” Musa explained.
According to him, by the end of this year, the system will be completely electronic. “Machines will tally the commercial licenses, groups, dates of renewal and others. This will avoid any interference by any official or director in the inspection process. The inspectors will use machines in documenting violations, which will raise transparency,” concluded Musa.

An inspector leaves a note at a closed company’s office, informing its owner to report to authorities within three days.

Eliminating trafficking
Abdullah Al-Mutoutah, Deputy Director for Manpower Protection, said that these raids will eliminate human trafficking. “These raids aim to ensure that employers respect the rules of the labor law. We will release details to clarify the violations. The violators will then be transferred to the investigation department. We will do our duty, and then the judge will decide the penalty for the crime committed,” he said during a raid in Hawally.
Salem Al-Jadi, head of the raiding team in Hawally governorate, explained that the inspectors during this raid posted warning stickers on empty offices, giving owners three days to clarify their status by visiting the PAM headquarters and submitting documents of their businesses. “We placed the warning sticker even on some offices with furniture or décor, since nobody was working inside the office or the shop. We also took photos of the e-number of the office. We send it to the central directorate, and they check it to see whether there is a license registered on it or not. The most significant evidence that nobody is working in the office is the pile of classified ad papers under the door of the office,” Jadi told Kuwait Times. The public can also participate in reporting any violation of the labor law by contacting PAM at pr@manpower.gov.kw, 25359232 or WhatsApp: 69009600


By Nawara Fattahova

This article was published on 30/10/2017