Kuwait to impose travel ban on 100,000 people

Via Gulf News

Kuwait is to ban 100,000 nationals and expatriates from travel for failing to pay up their financial dues to the state.

The ban to be imposed on January 2 aims to recover some of the 900 million Kuwaiti dinars (Dh11.7 billion) owed to the state in unpaid fines, said Mohammad Al Duaij, a prosecution official.

“The decision not to allow this high number of people to leave the country was made after they failed to pay the fines decided by courts of law,” he said.

“Following a recommendation by the government to address the issue, each ministry conducted a study to assess the amounts due from people. The justice ministry for instance said that it has not collected 12 million dinars. The first measure to address this situation was to impose a travel ban,” he said.
Those who will be banned from travel will also be refused services in the major ministries, he said.

According to the official, a special software will be used to oversee the co-relation between the fine and the ban.

“Travel bans on individuals who do not pay their fines will be automatically implemented 90 days after the court decision. The ban will be lifted as soon as the fine is paid. No one will be exempted from the decision, regardless of their status and connections,” he said.

However, the official said that special derogations related to emergency medical travel would be considered by the public prosecutor or a court. “People can log into the sites of the justice and interior ministries to see whether they are banned from leaving the country.”

The ban will be the first stage of actions against those who do not pay their fines, Mohammad Al Duaij said. “The second phase will be blocking all services in the government departments and the third will be spending up to six months in prison,” he said.

The Kuwaiti government has pushed for concrete action to recover arrears, saying that the public funds should be preserved.

The electricity and water ministry needs to recover water and electricity bills worth 300 million dinars while the communication ministry has 180 million dinars in arrears, the cabinet said.

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