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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 June 2018

Kuwait steps up deportations of expat workers

In the first four months of the year, authorities have deported 14,400 expats, compared with 26,600 in the whole of 2015, Kuwait’s Al Anba newspaper reported on Friday.

KUWAIT CITY // Kuwait has stepped up deportations of expatriate workers this year, with most expelled for outstaying their residency permits but others sent home for traffic offences.

In the first four months of the year, authorities have deported 14,400 expats, compared with 26,600 in the whole of 2015, Kuwait’s Al Anba newspaper reported on Friday.

Expatriates make up some 70 per cent of Kuwait’s 4.3 million population.

In April 2013, Thekra Al Rashidi, then labour minister, announced plans to deport around 100,000 expatriates each year for the next decade to reduce the number of foreigners living in the emirate by one million.

The government also made a string of traffic offences punishable by deportation, including skipping red lights and driving without a licence, a document difficult for many expats to obtain.

Al Anba said most of the deportations were carried out without trial, using controversial powers given to senior interior ministry officials that have drawn criticism.

* Associated Press