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Thousands of visa scandal victims deported
February 15, 2014, 11:07 pm
Nearly 2,000 Egyptian nationals were deported in recent weeks after they entered Kuwait on visas issued illegally without their knowledge, the Egyptian embassy confirmed in a statement published yesterday. The men are victims of a visa scandal currently under investigations in the Interior Ministry.
It involves a senior ministry official who according to investigations issued around 13,000 visas illegally over the course of two years using the help of other ministry officials. “The Egyptian embassy managed in coordination with Kuwait’s interior and foreign ministries to repatriate 1,700 workers who entered Kuwait on forged visas,” Egyptian Ambassador Abdulkareem Suleiman told Al-Rai daily which published his statements yesterday. The ambassador further indicated that ‘coordination is ongoing with Kuwaiti authorities’ to end the crisis of thousands of Egyptian workers who discovered after coming to Kuwait that jobs they had signed up for were nonexistent. “The embassy’s doors are open for them to come and register their information so that the embassy can follow up with Kuwaiti authorities on their behalf to end their problem,” ambassador Suleiman said.
The envoy could not clarify however whether the workers would face any legal complications once they are deported. Asked if victims of the visa scandal will be fingerprinted and blacklisted before they are deported, ambassador Suleiman simply indicated that this topic “is of the Kuwaiti Interior Ministry’s jurisdictions”. In the aftermath of the case, the ministry placed a security block on holders of the suspected visas, but the step was received with criticism from MPs and rights group who said that the expatriate workers should not be subjected to prosecution in crimes in which they are considered the victims.
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