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Kuwait committee to begin mammoth task of probing fraudulent citizenship

Committee formed in April after an ‘unnatural’ increase in population was observed

Gulf News

Manama: A Kuwaiti parliamentary committee will start looking into the issue of fraudulent citizenship acquisition next week.

The Interior and Defence Committee was tasked by the parliament to investigate allegations that documents had been forged to help undeserving people obtain citizenship.

The names of those being prosecuted will not be revealed.

The committee was formed in April after parliament speaker Marzqou Al Ghanem noted an ‘unnatural’ increase in the population over the past five years.

He said he was aware of several cases and pledged to forward the names to the committee. Kuwait has been engaged in a massive operation to unearth cases of forgery and false information that enabled several foreigners, with the complicity of Kuwaitis, to gain citizenship.

Despite the formidable challenges in dealing with the highly sensitive and intricately complex naturalisation issue, the country has been able to score some successes.

Several Kuwaitis were arrested after the authorities discovered they or their fathers had obtained citizenship fraudulently.

Under Kuwaiti law, the granted nationality is revoked if the applicant provided false information or presented fake certificates during the application process.

Deportation

Kuwait officials often claim they know the countries of origin of people who claim they have no citizenship.

They either keep these people stateless or send them back to their countries of origin.

Those who cheat their way to the Kuwaiti citizenship are deported to their countries of origin or to any country willing to accept them

In 2016, authorities discovered the case of two men who acquired citizenship fraudulently more than 51 years ago.

The two men, born to an Iraqi family, have been enjoying the benefits of Kuwaiti citizenship since 1965 when their father conspired with a Kuwaiti man who agreed, upon receiving money, to register them officially as his own sons.

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