KUWAIT: Interior Minister Sheikh Thamer Ali Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah chairs a meeting with senior ministry officials on Monday. – Interior Ministry photo

KUWAIT: As inspection campaigns are no longer carried out, the number of residency violators in the country has reached a record of 180,000, Al-Rai Arabic daily reported yesterday. This is an increase of 38 percent from five months ago, as very few expats have responded to amnesties to allow violators to leave with the possibility of returning with new visas, the newspaper wrote.

“As inspection campaigns by a tripartite committee that includes the interior and commerce ministries in addition to the Public Authority for Manpower stopped months ago, violators are freely roaming the country, taking advantage of interior ministry grace periods,” the report argued. It further claimed that only a minimal number of violators have expressed their desire to correct their status either by departing or transferring their residencies after paying fines.

Several obstacles
Security sources quoted in the report said that the interior ministry faces several obstacles in dealing with violators of the residency law and those with expired visit visas. “The most notable hurdle is the continued travel ban on 35 countries, in addition to a lack of commitment by violators to correct their legal status and take advantage of the opportunities given to them for an entire year,” the unnamed sources said.

According to the same sources, the interior ministry has urged violators several times to correct their status, but there has been no response. “Only 2,500 expats have benefited from the grace period that will end on Jan 31 and settled their status,” the sources said. “With only around 10 days remaining, there is no serious move to activate the role of the tripartite committee to carry out campaigns in areas where thousands of violators reside, such as Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh and Amghara.”

Minister meets officials
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Sheikh Thamer Ali Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah headed a meeting on Monday with the Ministry’s Undersecretary Lieutenant General Essam Al-Nahham and several senior officials to help improve security performance of different interior sectors and ways of evolving its work.

The minister affirmed the importance of strategic planning, and ways of rehabilitating the human element in order to improve the ministry’s performance, whether through technology or any other means necessary, the Ministry’s Relations and Security Media Department said in a press statement.

The minister gave instructions to improve old decisions and rules, and work on changing them in a way that copes with the evolution of technology in the world, it added. Sheikh Thamer stressed on the importance of facing any glitches or security breaches, “no tolerance towards anyone who neglects his duties when it comes to protecting Kuwait’s security,” he said.