Court sentences issued against 500 employers for visa trafficking: Minister

Sheikh Faisal Al-Hmoud Al-Sabah

KUWAIT: Farwaniya Governor Sheikh Faisal Al-Hmoud Al-Sabah stressed the need to work on resolving the problem of Kuwait’s demographic imbalance immediately in order to limit the spread of crimes and incidents that are considered ‘strange’ in Kuwait, especially in view of the surge of illegal and marginal laborers throughout the governorate. He hailed the efforts exerted by the Public for Authority Manpower in fighting visa traffickers through decisions such as the recent ban on residency transfer for three years from the date of the issuance of the work permit.
Sheikh Faisal also noted that he was among the first who called to fight illegal workers, as they cost state-funded public facilities considerable amounts of money and provide a perfect environment for crimes. Finally, he called for imposing strict laws on whoever takes Kuwait’s safety and security lightly and setting strict measures for expats.

Visa traffickers
Meanwhile, Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and State Minister for Economic Affairs Hind Al-Sabeeh said several visa traffickers were referred to the public prosecution and then to courts. Court sentences were issued against nearly 500 employers, including jail sentences and fines reaching KD 2 million. Sabeeh was speaking during the signing of a memorandum of understanding with regards to the national program for decent work jobs under her patronage at the United Nations House in the presence of the Regional Director of the International Labor Organization Dr Ruba Jaradat, Director of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Rabah Al-Rabah and President of Kuwait Labor Union Salem Al-Ajmi.
She said that some sentences were appealed and some were not, and the ministry follows the litigation steps under the Kuwaiti judiciary, while confirming the practice of checking violating companies in cooperation with partners in the private sector and in countries that send labor to Kuwait to stop offices that abuse workers inside and outside Kuwait. When asked about the possibility of issuing decisions related to organization of the marketplace soon, she said: “There are many decisions to be issued soon following the meeting of the Manpower Public Authority’s board of directors that was held recently, as several decisions were approved and will be announced in the coming period.”

Development projects
A recently published government document showed that Kuwait spent KD 1.37 billion on development projects until Oct 2018 of the fiscal year 2018-2019, which includes a KD 3.8 billion budget for development projects, which means that 36.1 percent of the budget has been spent so far. The document also justified the reduction of the budget set by the finance ministry for development projects over the past three years by reducing the number of projects as a result of using new project selection methods.
The document added that 957 development projects had been executed during the fiscal years 2015/2016, 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 with a total cost of KD 11.5 billion, of which KD 8.7 billion had been actually spent on the projects. Further, the document showed that the fiscal year 2017/2018 witnessed executing 149 development projects with a total value of KD 2.9 billion, of which KD 2.5 billion (86.4 percent) was actually spent, while 279 projects with a total value of KD 2.9 billion were executed in 2016/2017.
In addition, the documents showed that development projects during the three fiscal years faced 538 challenges, topped by administrative problems and red tape which recurred 182 times, technical problems, legislative problems and monitoring problems.

By A Saleh