Foreigners make up nearly 3.4 million of Kuwait's total population of 4.6 million. Image Credit: Gulf News archive

Cairo: A Kuwaiti court has handed down eight citizens jail terms ranging from three to five years on charges of illegally obtaining state labour subsidy without doing real jobs in one of several such cases being heard at the country's law courts, local media reported.

The defendants – seven men and a woman – were charged with forging labour documents and claiming employment in a phantom company to get the work money, Al Rai newspaper said.

The verdicts were issued by a criminal court.

Last month, 20 Kuwaitis were temporarily released pending trial in a similar case on charges of illegally seizing state money for fake jobs.

Their release came after the suspects were ordered to return all the salaries they had unlawfully obtained.

Kuwait has unveiled a large-scale campaign aimed to expose attempts to provide “bogus employment” to Kuwaitis as the country is making efforts to generate jobs to its citizens, an official has recently said.

The campaign by the Public Authority of Manpower targets private sector businesses to ensure complying with rules on employment of national labour, according to Abdullah Al Mutoutah, the government agency’s deputy head.

He vowed a “firm stance” against employers and employees involved in phony hiring.

He also cited a plan providing equal perks to Kuwaitis working in private and public sectors with the aim of encouraging citizens to work in the private sector to boost replacement of foreigners with Kuwaitis, a policy known as Kuwaitisation.

Foreigners make up nearly 3.4 million of Kuwait's total population of 4.6 million.