Kuwait plans travel-ban for expats with unpaid loans

Move follows report that estimates $408m is owed to Kuwait corporations. 
By Joanna Hartley
Tue 10 Mar 2009 07:56 AM

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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