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214 Kuwaiti fugitives outside country’s jurisdiction
February 22, 2015, 8:57 am

Kuwait is facing a problem in seeking extradition of dozens of its citizens convicted on several cases, but are fugitives outside the country, reports a local daily. Statistics indicated 214 Kuwaiti fugitives outside the country have been registered in the last three years.

Sources following up the file explained that Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Arab Republic of Egypt have been more cooperative with Kuwait on the issue due to bilateral agreements that stipulates ‘smooth exchange of wanted persons and convicts, in line with clear legal procedures’. Sources pointed to the dilemma faced by Kuwait, saying its citizens have sought refuge in Britain which has no agreement with Kuwait on exchanging wanted persons, indicating the situation prompts dozens of wanted Kuwaitis to escape to the United Kingdom.

In this context, sources stressed that intense local coordination between the Ministries of Justice, Interior and Foreign ministries is required to be able to lay the basis of cooperation with the British authorities.

The same source noted Lebanon is among the countries that cooperate with Kuwait on this issue, but the problem lies in complex and lengthy procedures it takes to facilitate the extraditions, as a result of the unstable political situation in Lebanon.

On the other hand, sources revealed that more than 150 Kuwaitis are accused of drug-related offenses outside Kuwait and serving jail terms in these countries. The number was 54 in 2011, which reduced to 51 in 2012, and increased to 60 in 2013— according to statistics provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Sources said Kuwaiti citizens convicted of drug-related offenses outside the country are deported or sent back to Kuwait after serving their jail terms in the state where they committed the crime.

They added the Ministry of Interior in turn circulates the names of those on the ‘wanted list’ at the ports of entry (air-sealand) and arrest them upon their arrival in Kuwait, and refer them to Drug Control General Department for appropriate administrative procedures, indicating the sector withdraws their passports and bans them from traveling for five years under a ministerial decree issued in that regard for tainting Kuwait’s reputation abroad.

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