A security operation in the Sabhan area, in the suburbs of Kuwait City, has netted 218 suspects and lawbreakers, the interior ministry has said.The operation was carried early on Wednesday and included setting checkpoints around the area and screening the documents of 1,117 people.
The ministry said that 91 people had no official documents, 51 broke the labour law and 23 had overstayed their residency visas. Other suspects included 32 foreigners who had absconded from the homes or companies of their employers, nine wanted in relation to civil cases and two wanted in criminal cases. Six cars were impounded in the operation.
The foreign suspects will be eventually deported. Kuwait has been conducting security operations, particularly in areas inhabited by large expatriate communities, to reinforce the application of the law amid reports that suspects tended to hide there. A security source in October said that Kuwait had deported 20,000 expatriates in the first nine months of the year for their non-compliance with the residence and labour laws.
“Those who were expelled from the country are from various nationalities and included expatriates without jobs or doing odd jobs, beggars and people implicated in the selling of alcoholic beverages, managing flats for suspicious activities or engaging in immoral acts,” the source told a local daily. “The public order department has pledged a zero-tolerance towards all violations of the law and involvement in illegal or immoral activities.”
Many of those who were deported were Kuwait as “marginal labourers” with no fixed employment and who made money doing odd jobs. Usually the victims of unscrupulous sponsors and traders in visas, they pay a large sum of money to arrive in Kuwait. However, the promise of a lucrative offer does not materialise and they discover there are no jobs and the companies mentioned in the arrangements prior to their arrival are fictitious and do not exist. They find themselves forced to do odd jobs to pay a monthly due to their sponsors and to pay back the debts they made to leave their country and secure a visa.
Legal experts in Kuwait have insisted that the security operations conducted by the interior ministry should not be confined to expatriates staying illegally in the country, but should be extended to include those who traded in visas and exploited the system to take advantage of the situation.
“There needs to be strong action to tackle the roots of the problems, and not the results,” they said, quoted by Kuwaiti daily Al Seyassah. “Some expatriates have done nothing wrong and they are in fact the victims of their sponsors. Those who lied and abused the visa system should be brought to justice, particularly that the minister of social affairs and labour has often said there were bogus companies and threatened to name and shame the people behind them,” they said.
In July, Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Hind Al Subaih announced the uncovering of 150 companies that did not exist on the ground. The minister said legal measures were being taken against the companies in addition to the 60 other companies discovered earlier.
Around two thirds of the total population of Kuwait, estimated at 3.3 million people, are foreigners, mainly from Asian countries working as domestic helpers and in the construction sector. Under the sponsorship system, a foreigner cannot take up a job unless he or she is sponsored by an individual or a company.
SOURCE : GULFNEWS