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Mon 25 Jan 2016 02:01 PM

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Bahrain expats said to fake court cases to stay in the country

Gov't official makes claim as those with pending court cases are slapped with travel bans

Bahrain expats said to fake court cases to stay in the country
(Getty Images)

Some Bahrain expats whose visas have expired have been accused of creating fake financial disputes so they will be slapped with a travel ban and will be allowed to stay in the country until their court case is heard, a government official has claimed.

“Expatriates who have problems renewing their visas and residency in Bahrain just take the easy way out by coming up with deals with Bahrainis or other expatriates that see them sign dud cheques, or complain they are owed money, just to impose a travel ban that allows them to stay in Bahrain without any legal action,” Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Ministry assistant under-secretary for judicial affairs Khalid Ajjaj was quoted as saying by Gulf Daily News.

“The Interior Ministry can’t take any action to deport expatriates if there is a pending court case against them and, without any legal judgement, they can’t leave the country,” he added.

The comments were made at the annual Shura Council meeting on Sunday during a debate on a possible Royal Decree allowing people to travel abroad even if they have a pending court case.

The motion will now be debated by the Supreme Judicial Council.

The report claimed around 4,500 residents, both Bahrainis and expatriates, have been slapped with travel bans due to non-payment of debts.

“It is more logical to pursue claims in expatriates’ home countries, considering they may have property and bank accounts there… Also, if it is a Bahraini who owes money, then banning them from travel won’t make a difference to their ability to pay,” Ajjaj added.