Crime rates drop by 18.5 percent in Kuwait

KUWAIT: People lined up outside the Philippines’ embassy in Kuwait yesterday on the first day of an amnesty announced by the Interior Ministry for visa violators. —Photo by Ben Garcia

KUWAIT: The number of violators who left Kuwait on the first day of an amnesty that runs from January 29, 2018 to February 22, 2018 has been modest. This is because there is some fear among violators that they would be fingerprinted for deportation, which is not the case, an Interior Ministry statement clarified yesterday.

Only violators who are arrested after the amnesty period will be blacklisted and banned from returning to Kuwait, reiterated the statement released by the ministry’s Borders Outlets Security Department. Thousands of people have already availed the amnesty which was launched to help end the presence of around 154,000 residency violators in Kuwait. The department urged violators to benefit from the amnesty which came as per instructions of Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah, and allows violators to leave without having to pay fines, provided that they depart Kuwait before the Feb 22 deadline, while keeping alive the option of returning back to Kuwait in the future.
The following categories of violators are allowed to leave during the grace period:

– Those whose regular or temporary residencies expired before Jan 24, 2018.

– Those who entered the country on a visit, residency, tourism or transit visa whose stay period expired before Jan 24, 2018.

– Those whose passports expired before Jan 24, 2018 but have valid residency permits, and wish to leave the country.

– Newborns that are given residency permits sponsored by their family should refer to the residency affairs department to correct the newborn’s status during the amnesty period.

– Those reported to have absconded before Jan 24, 2018 regardless of the type of residency they have.

– Those who absconded after Jan 4, 2016, whether working in the private or domestic sectors.

Meanwhile, the department explained that as for people whose regular or temporary residencies expired before Jan 24, 2018, there are two types of violators: the first is when a person has the expired residency or entry visa on his passport, in which case he or she he can buy a plane ticket and leave to his country directly. As for those who lost their passports, they have to go to the residency detectives’ department to receive a unified number through which they can leave and be documented, it added.

Crime rates down
In other news, the Interior Ministry announced yesterday that crimes in Kuwait dropped by 18.5 percent in 2017 compared to the previous year. The ministry’s annual statistics showed that criminal acts deemed harmful to public interest decreased by 78.57 percent in 2017 also in contrast to 2016, whereas crimes against individuals rose by 48.14 percent, said Major General Sehab Al-Shemmari. The official, who is the general director of the General Department of Criminal Evidence, said in a statement that financial crimes fell by 11.5 percent and misdemeanor crimes detrimental to public interest dropped by 48 percent. Deaths resulting from traffic accidents amounted to 424 in 2016 and 428 last year. Recorded drug dealing cases reached 33 in 2016 and 68 last year.

Five people were arrested yesterday for forging medical examination reports necessary for labor transactions. The arrest came following investigations based on information that detectives received about a ring whose members sell forged reports showing that the examined worker is ‘clear’ of diseases, for KD 1,000 each. Based on testimonies of a person who had a forged document in his possession, detectives identified five Egyptian nationals and police placed them under arrest. They were questioned and sent to the proper authorities for further action.

Partial opening
A partial opening will be made at Al-Bidaa roundabout tomorrow at dawn for the street going from Fifth Ring Road towards the Blajat Road, General Traffic Department announced yesterday.

By Hanan Al-Saadoun