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Kuwait travel ban hits traffic fine defaulters

Decision was made to recover about 11m dinars in unpaid dues

Gulf News

Manama: Around 100,000 Kuwaitis and expatriates in Kuwait will be banned from leaving the country starting Thursday.

The decision not to allow them to travel is attributed to non-payment of fines related to traffic, commerce or municipality offences, Kuwaiti Arabic daily Al Jareeda reported.

An automatic travel ban was introduced by the justice ministry in cooperation with the interior ministry in a bid to recover around 11 million dinars (Dh143 million) in unpaid fines, sources told the daily.

Under the new rules, a defaulter, whether a Kuwaiti national or a foreigner, cannot travel until the fine is paid. The defaulter then has a one-year grace period to pay the fine and have the ban lifted.

Failure to pay within one year could result in prison terms, the daily said, quoting sources it did not name.

“We urge all people who can no longer appeal against fines imposed on them by a court of law to pay up their dues to avoid the travel ban and possibly a prison term,” the sources said.

“The ban will be lifted immediately if the fine is paid at the airport or at the interior ministry service centres. However, it will be lifted the next day if the payment is made through the justice ministry,” the sources said.