December 2, 2021 finance & economytourism

Buying and Selling of Visas from Kuwait in full swing


KUWAIT CITY, Dec 1: “From Kuwait to Egypt” – this is how brokers of visa trade have crossed borders … through a criminal activity that is based on trafficking in the sweat of toiling people and selling illusions to those looking for opportunities to earn a “halal” (legitimate) livelihood, reports Al- Qabas daily. Just seven months after this issue was highlighted by Al-Qabas daily in its issue on April 30, 2019 regarding one such broker, an Egyptian who fled Kuwait and was arrested in one of the governorates of Upper Egypt, the Egyptian arm of law caught up with him this week and sentenced him to four-year imprisonment with hard labor.

The court obligated him to compensate his victims financially. Investigations into the case, as obtained by the daily, revealed that the accused had professionally brokered to sell visas and bring workers under the sponsorship of fictitious companies. He later fl ed back to his country after the COVID- 19 crisis, but he was arrested there after hundreds of workers whom he conned had filed lawsuits against him. According to investigations and security information, it was found that the accused possesses bank balances exceeding 400 million Egyptian pounds which he obtained through visa trade. He also owned real estate in various parts of Egypt.

For years, he worked for the benefit of fictitious companies, whose owners were convicted in several cases following the COVID-19 crisis. This week, the victims and their families flocked to a court in Upper Egypt, where the judge listened to the complaints of some of them. They revealed that the accused was residing in Jahra from where he conducted his illicit business of conning hundreds of his countrymen by promising to provide jobs for them in Kuwait at a cost of KD 1,500 per visa but later left them out on the streets to fend for themselves. The investigations revealed that the broker received 30 percent of the visa-trade proceeds, and the rest went to the owners of fictitious companies who were disavowing workers upon their arrival in Kuwait.

All this was exposed during the COVID-19 crisis. According to security sources, the accused was charged with illicit gain, after discovering that the money he owned originated from Kuwait, where his bank balances exceed millions of pounds, He also owned real-estate properties including houses and lands. With the correspondence of the reports, a suspicion of human trafficking, fraud, and illegal business was detected. Cases are ongoing in regard to other charges. Since the time of his arrest, reports continued to pile up against him, all of which were related to human trafficking, fraud, selling of fake visas to Kuwait, and establishing partnerships with Kuwaitis who own fictitious companies. This was based on investigations and information obtained by the Egyptian authorities from their Kuwaiti counterparts, in addition to the statements of the victims. Locally, coordination is ongoing between the General Department for Residency Affairs and the Public Authority for Manpower to control the fake labor offices, which advertise the sale and transfer of residency through social media platforms, or provide services in exchange for money from October 1 to November 22.

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