Kuwait Committee To Begin Mammoth Task Of Probing Fraudulent Citizenship
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A Kuwaiti parliamentary committee will next week start looking into the issue of fraudulent citizenship acquisition. The Interior and Defence Committee was tasked by the parliament to investigate allegations that documents had been forged to help undeserving people to obtain the citizenship.

The names of those being prosecuted will not be revealed. The committee was formed in April after parliament speaker Marzqou Al Ghanem noted an ‘unnatural’ increase in the population over the past five years. He said he was aware of several cases and pledged he would forward the names to the committee. Kuwait has been engaged in a massive operation to unearth cases of forgery and false information that enabled several foreigners, with the complicity of Kuwaitis, to acquire the Kuwaiti citizenship.

Despite the formidable challenges in dealing with the highly sensitive and intricately complex naturalisation issue, the northern Arabian Gulf country has been able to score some successes. Several Kuwaitis were arrested after the authorities discovered they or their fathers had obtained the citizenship fraudulently.

Under the Kuwaiti law, the granted nationality is revoked if the applicant provided false information or presented fake certificates during the application process. The revocation is ordered by the cabinet based on a request from the interior minister. In 2015, the efforts led to the unmasking of 105 people who acquired Kuwaiti citizenship illegally.

In 2016, the authorities discovered the case of two men who acquired the Kuwaiti citizenship fraudulently more than 51 years ago. The two men, born to an Iraqi family, have been enjoying the benefits of Kuwaiti citizenship since 1965 when their father conspired with a Kuwaiti man who agreed, upon receiving money, to register them officially as his own sons.

In April last year, three Saudi brothers were arrested after they fraudulently obtained Kuwaiti citizenship. The investigation launched by the interior ministry revealed that the father, born in 1950, wanted his three sons to have Kuwaiti nationality.

In 1998, he contacted three Kuwaiti men and offered each of them money to add his sons to their citizenship records. The Kuwaitis agreed and each of them mentioned one son as his own in filing the applications with Kuwaiti authorities.

As the applications were accepted, the three sons became Kuwaiti citizens and each was provided with a laissez-passer from the Kuwaiti embassy in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. The document was used to obtain Kuwaiti passports and identity cards, identifying them as Kuwaiti citizens born to Kuwaiti fathers. Two of the brothers joined the Kuwaiti army and the third became a policeman with the interior ministry.

Following the investigation, arrest warrants were issued by the public prosecution and the security authorities arrested the three brothers and referred them to the General Directorate for Citizenship and Travel Documents.

Confronted with the facts, the brothers admitted that they had obtained Kuwaiti citizenship fraudulently through three Kuwaiti men. One of the Kuwaitis was arrested and he confessed that he had taken KD10,000 from a Saudi man in order to register the Saudi son as his own.

The second Kuwaiti had reportedly left the country a long time ago, prompting the authorities to take action to arrest him upon his return to the country, while the third died in 2010 in Britain where he was being treated for Leukaemia.

10 May, 2017 0 421
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