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500,000 in Kuwait banned from travelling over debts
March 17, 2014, 8:35 am

Half-a-million people in Kuwait have been banned from leaving the country due to debts, an MP has revealed.

GCC states commonly refuse exit stamps to those with serious debts or who have defaulted on loans, particularly since the global financial crisis when numerous expats fled without repaying loans that had been taken out with cheap credit.

The number of people in Kuwait banned from travelling represents more than 12 percent of the Gulf state’s total population, which includes about 2 million expats.

“The number of people facing travel bans, which has reached 500,000 Kuwaitis and expatriates, is a very serious issue that requires action to help debtors who struggle to pay the cumulative interests on their debts,” MP Jamal Al Omar told Al Rai newspaper.

The revelation comes as the Kuwaiti parliament reopened a fund to allow citizens to apply to have the government takeover loans taken out before April 2008.
The government already has paid out the debts of 18,000 people, worth a total of more than $433m.

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