Kuwait plans travel-ban for expats with unpaid loans

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Expatriates living in Kuwait could be banned from travelling out of the country unless they can prove they have paid all their debts, it was reported on Tuesday.

The new rule is part of plans being drawn up between the Ministry of Communications (MoC) and the Ministry of Interior, according to a senior official at the MoC in an interview with Kuwait daily Kuwait Times.

The move comes in the wake of an Audit Bureau report that accused the MoC of negligence in collecting debts owed by a number of corporate companies and domestic customers.

Zakariya Mohammed Al Ansari, the head of the MoC’s accounting and commercial services department confirmed to the newspaper that the two ministries were working closely on plans that wold ensure expatriates did not leave the country without repaying their loans.

But he rejected the bureau’s report findings that estimated debts exceeded KD120m ($408m), saying the sum was nearer to KD9m.

The department had collected KD117m in unpaid debts in 2008 alone, as well as 98 percent of the amount owed to the ministry by local embassies, Al Ansari added.

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Posted by: pras

what about the visa status if some one loses a job and is still made to stay back?

Posted by: Andrew

How could they determine if a person is merely travel on business and not leaving the country fulltime. When I lived in Kuwait I had to travel at least once or twice a month, so how would I be able to do that under the proposed idea?

Posted by: paul

Imagine the diplomatic incidents or worse this is going to lead to. People with loans prevented from returning to their countries. It would permanently kill the housing market if enacted in the UAE - no foreigner would take out a mortgage knowing that they would effectively be a prisoner in the country.

Posted by: purpleram

..this sends out sucha positive message to future investors and professionals wanting to move in here... great work Kuwait, all the best with your diversification !

Posted by: Mohit

This is unethical and inhumane. Rather than taking such meaures which further deteriorates the market confidence, there should be some practical solution which should be sensibly worked out for bad debts. Holding a person in a country and imposing travel ban is not going to help.Rather the person will become a liability since he anyways can not pay. By putting travel ban, will one be able to get money back?? This is a Global crisis due to which the whole world is in trouble.Putting a travel ban or leaving a country blocks the chances of a person to work anywhere else for his survival which is not correct.

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