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Travel ban on 100000 nationals and expats

Kuwait will impose ban on nearly 100,000 nationals and expatriates from travel for failing to pay their financial dues to the state.

The ban will be effective from 2nd January 2013, and aims to recover the KD900mn owed to the state, in the form of unpaid fines, said Mohammed Al Duaij, a prosecution official.

Such a decision was arrived at, as they failed to pay the fines decided by courts of law. Following the government's suggestion to address the issue, each ministry conducted an assessment to check amounts due from people.

The Justice Ministry, for instance, said that it is yet to collect KD12mn. The first measure to address this situation was to impose a travel ban. Those banned from travel, will also not receive services in the major ministries, said Duaij.

The official said that a special software will be used to monitor the co-relation between the fine and the ban. Travel bans on individuals who are yet to pay the fines will get automatically effective 90 days after the court decision, and the ban will be lifted as soon as the fine is paid. The decision will be applicable to all equally, and none will be exempted irrespective of their status and connections.

The official said that special derogations pertaining to emergency medical travel would be considered by public prosecutor or a court.

To check if they are banned from leaving the country, people can log on to the sites of justice and interior ministries. While travel ban is the first stage of action, the second phase involves blocking all services in the government departments, and the third will be to spend nearly six months in prison, he said.

The Electricity and Water Ministry alone needs to recover bills worth KD300mn, while communications ministry has KD180mn in arrears, the cabinet said.

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