By Ben Garcia
KUWAIT: Six Egyptian security personnel who staged a “lightning” protest and triggered a riot in block 1 in Farwaniya on Wednesday were arrested and will be deported. Kuwait Times was able to talk to their colleagues heading to the amnesty processing site yesterday with their luggage. “We are all going home,” said Ahmed, one of more than 500 Egyptians who had protested. Some were already at the amnesty processing site, while others were busy packing their belongings at their accommodation.
“They all went to the amnesty site – all Egyptians here are returning to Egypt,” Hussein, a Bangladeshi security guard, told Kuwait Times. Hussein, who works for the same company, said the fight ensued when the guards demanded their salaries from a mandoub who visited their accommodation on Wednesday. “The representative said we have to wait for the salary, but the Egyptians got angry. They told the mandoub to call our bosses, since they have not been eating for some time since they have not received their salaries for months. They told the mandoub that they are ready to be deported, but will not leave Kuwait unless they get their unpaid salaries for two or three months,” Hussein said.
According to Hussein, they kept shouting and demanding their dues, and a few minutes later, the police came and they negotiated about their unpaid salaries. “Good thing for them, they already got what they want, but for us Bangladeshis and Nepalis, we were promised our two months of unpaid salary today, but until now, no representative of the company has showed up. We don’t know whether we will get our wages. This is really unfair. We kept quiet, and now they are only giving salaries to Egyptians and not to us,” he said. Hussein said apart from around 500 Egyptians, the company also employs around 100 Bangladeshi and 100 Nepali security guards.
Danesh, a Nepali security guard, noted the trouble with the company is not only about unpaid salaries. “We have been working in Kuwait for months without visas. Many of us here have no iqmas – I have been working with them for 10 months without a visa; my friend for six months, and many others for seven months without a visa. Some Egyptians have worked with the company without iqamas for years, so we are really fed up. I hope they give us our salaries and fix our visa issues once and for all,” he said. “It is dangerous to roam around without a visa, so I can only go to the baqala nearby. I cannot go anywhere else for my safety,” Danesh added.
A video footage of the commotion has gone viral on social media. On Wednesday, the interior ministry said in a press statement that it arrested six expats who caused riots and will take legal measures against them and deport them from the country. The ministry said it received a complaint from a representative of a private company stating that a group of workers gathered and tried to assault him while delivering their salaries.
It added that a rescue patrol immediately moved to the location of the incident and upon its arrival, one of the company’s workers assaulted the police car. The patrol commander fired a precautionary shot in the air to disperse the gathering. The ministry stressed that an investigation has been carried out and the rest of the workers involved were being arrested and referred to the authorities.
Source: Kuwait Times
KUWAIT: Criminal detectives arrested several persons who gathered in defiance of Cabinet decisions banning such activities. They were sent to concerned authorities. Meanwhile, a Kuwaiti led authorities to a woman who organized a gathering inside her home. The citizen uploaded a video clip on social media showing the gathering. The interior ministry said the video showed a woman carrying out a religious activity inside her house, prompting authorities to move to the place and arrest the woman, who faces legal action for violating the Cabinet’s decisions.
In the meantime, policemen confiscated 31 IDs of men who were found in a cafe in preparation for deportation for violating ministerial decision 64/2020, which bans gatherings in public or private. The cafe was shut down and the owner was referred to court. Most of those found in the café are of Arab nationalities. Security authorities have urged the public to comply with decisions that ban holding parties, weddings and other such activities in public and private as well as receptions in diwaniyas.
A Kuwaiti chased a thief who drove off in his pickup truck from Mangaf to Fahaheel, where he was able to stop the suspect and beat him badly while waiting for police to arrive. The suspect was taken to hospital under guard for treatment. The pick-up owner claimed that the suspect attempted to attack him, so he had to beat him.
A police source said patrols in Sabah Al-Nasser spotted a reckless driver endangering the safety of others. When approached, he refused to stop and collided with the patrol vehicle and fled. Detectives are looking for him. – Translated by Kuwait Times from Al-Anbaa
By A Saleh
KUWAIT: The Interior Ministry began Wednesday receiving residency law violators in a process that will continue until the end of the month. A large number of people showed up at two schools in Farwaniya on the first day, which the ministry had allocated for Philippine nationals, seeking to take advantage of the amnesty through which they are allowed to leave to their home country without having to pay any penalties.
“We seek to offer all assistance to facilitate departure of residency law violators,” Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Anas Al-Saleh said during a tour to oversee the first day of operations. He added that requested lists of names of violators’ sponsors, including individuals and companies, and ordered an investigation to identify visa traders and hold them accountable.
On the possibility that the government might lock down areas highly populated with expatriate communities after a number of coronavirus-positive cases appeared among workers that remain under investigation, minister Saleh noted that the health minister has authority to isolate areas in case a coronavirus spread was detected there. This includes areas highly populated with Kuwaitis or expatriates, the minister explained.
Minister of Social Affairs and State Minister for Economic Affairs Mariam Al-Aqeel, who accompanied Saleh in the tour, said meanwhile that 750 Filipino nationals came forward to leave during the first day of the grace period given for violators. “Two airplanes are ready to evacuate the first batch of Philippine labor within days,” she added.
Meanwhile, Head of the evacuation task force Major General Abdeen Abdeen said the departure is not limited to residency violators, adding that any expatriate who wishes to leave the country can come forward to concerned authorities in the predetermined locations. He said that there are 12 schools designated to lodge those leaving; six for men and six for women, with two schools in each governorate.
The Interior Ministry had issued an amnesty decision allowing residency violators to leave the country without paying any fines or airfare with a chance to return to Kuwait later. This amnesty was issued in view of the circumstances the country is currently going through and as part of the precautionary measures taken to fight COVID-19, especially since fines had been accumulating against violators.
Violators are received from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm according to the following dates and nationalities: Philippines (April 1-5, 2020), Egypt (April 6-10), India (April 11-15), Bangladesh (April 16-20), Sri Lanka (April 21-25), other nationalities (April 26-30, 2020).
Individuals desiring to procure valid residencies in Kuwait and are willing to pay the fines without being subjected to investigations will be allowed to pay the fines and legalize their status if they meet the required conditions.
Source: Kuwait Times
KUWAIT: Kuwait yesterday banned Friday prayers and asked worshippers to pray all five times at home, practically closing mosques, in unprecedented measures as the country fights to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Government officials and the Manpower Authority meanwhile denied reports that Kuwait plans to send millions of expatriates to their home countries as part of minimizing risks of the killer disease spreading.
Government spokesman Tareq Al-Mazrem yesterday denied reports that curfew has been imposed after authorities closed public beaches and parks and police patrols were seen asking people to leave beaches and stay home. The traffic department used drones to make public announcements that gatherings are prohibited.
The health ministry reported 20 new coronavirus cases, raising the number to 100. As many as 15 of the new cases are for Kuwaitis who had returned from Iran, two citizens who had returned from Britain and the United States, one for a Spanish national and two Egyptians who came in contact with an Egyptian man found to be infected with the disease several days ago after returning from Azerbaijan via Dubai.
Health Minister Sheikh Basel Al-Sabah said on Twitter that banning Friday prayers came after some people who showed signs of infection after returning 10 days ago from countries that were not listed to be infected like the United States, Spain and Britain.
The ministry is now testing people who had come in contact with them, Sheikh Basel said.
In a televised statement, the minister appealed to the people to remain at home and not to venture out to protect themselves from the disease.
Of the 100 cases tested positive, five were cured and discharged and 95 under observation including four at the intensive care unit, one of them in critical condition. The ministry said as many as 71 people have been discharged from the ministry quarantines after tests showed they were not infected.
The health ministry meanwhile continued to test expatriates who had returned to the country from February 27 onward from a number of countries. Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah inspected the testing centers at the International Fair Ground in Meshrif.
Authorities yesterday closed the Friday market and stopped auction at the Fish market from today until further notice.
Kuwait had already declared a public holiday shutting down government offices and many private establishments for two weeks and halted all commercial flights to the country.
Source: Kuwait Times
KUWAIT CITY, Feb 10: Customs officers at the T4 and the T5 airport terminals have arrested an Indian and a Kuwaiti for attempting to smuggle drugs into the country, reports Al-Anba daily.
In the baggage of the Kuwaiti, who arrived from an European country, found a piece of hashish, which he said was for personal use, while in the baggage of the Indian, police found 259 sachets weighing about 1,500 grams. Both men with the contraband have been referred to the authorities.
Source: Arab Times
KUWAIT CITY, Feb, 10: Severe cold wave began yesterday and weather experts warned of temperature to decrease significantly, amid expectations that today it will be sever cold, and will continue until next Thursday reports Al Rai
Meteorologist Mohammed Karam expected the continued impact of the cold air mass on the country until next Thursday, because the air elevation was centered over the Caspian Sea, pointing out that the temperature expected to be recorded tomorrow (Wednesday) will range from two to four degrees in the interior regions, to touch zero in the desert areas.
Everyone started feeling, since yesterday afternoon, the impact of the cold air mass accompanied by northwest winds that were active at intervals, sometimes reaching a speed of 40 kilometers per hour, causing the maximum temperature to be lowered to 14 degrees Celsius.
Karam further stated that the effect of the cold air mass will continue until Thursday, before the weather begins to moderate on Friday, when the maximum temperature is 18 degrees Celsius and the lowest is 8 degrees Celsius.
Source: Arab Times