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Kuwait residents told to pay traffic fines or face travel bans

20,000 forged driving licences issued in Kuwait

  • By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 12:33 September 11, 2013
  • Gulf News

Manama: Kuwait has warned its citizens and expatriate residents that those who failed to pay their traffic fines would be banned from travelling, starting next month (October, 2013).

The defaulters will also lose their right to all operations related to the interior ministry, including the renewal of licences and residence permits, Abdul Fattah Al Aali, the assistant undersecretary for traffic, said.

An accord has been reached between the various departments of the ministry on starting to implement the measures in October, he said, local Arabic daily Al Rai reported on Wednesday.

The official who has been conducting a relentless campaign to ensure full compliance with the law said that the state was able to recover 38 million dinars (Dh488.71 million) of the 41 million dinars that companies and establishments owed the state in fines and penalties.

“Now, it is the turn of the citizens and the residents to pay up their dues,” he said.

According to the official, the traffic authorities have discovered that 20,000 forged driving licences had been issued since 2010.

“We have withdrawn 7,000 forged licences, and we are working on taking out and cancelling all the others.”

He said that expatriates summoned to the traffic directorate should come forth and hand their licences, assuring them that there would be “no questions asked”.

However, those who fail to show up to hand back the licences will face forgery charges and will be deported, the official said.

Under a new decision by the interior minister, a Kuwaiti sponsoring an expatriate can request the cancellation of his licence if he leaves work or absconds.

“This decision applies to the licences issued after April 1, 2013. We have so far cancelled the licences of around 2,000 expatriates who have left their sponsors,” he said. “Those who are deported from the country automatically lose their Kuwaiti licences as well.”

Al Aali, who had come under attack, mainly from the opposition, for his strong approach towards foreign drivers who commit several traffic offences, said that the trend to end the chaos and impose road discipline would continue.

“I am not an abusive person, but I do apply the law and assume my responsibilities to save lives and protect people from reckless drivers. The expatriates who do not respect the law should be sent home. We will deport the irresponsible expatriates who do not respect the laws of the country,” he said. “We have also extended the vehicle impounding period from two to four months and drivers can now be held for 48 hours for the sake of the investigation and the normal procedures.”

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