Manama: Kuwait has reportedly uncovered one of the most massive fraudulent naturalisations in its history in which 308 individuals are implicated.
According to a report in Kuwaiti daily Al Rai on Monday, a Kuwaiti man had married an Iraqi woman, but the couple had no children as the husband was infertile.
However, the wife who had four children from a previous marriage suggested to her Kuwaiti husband that he add them in the civil status documents as his own.
The four children thus acquired the Kuwaiti citizenship and benefitted over decades from its advantages, mainly regarding education, health care, jobs and housing.
The four passed on their Kuwaiti citizenship to their children and subsequently to their grandchildren.
“The residency department received a tip about how an extended family obtained the citizenship fraudulently about one month ago and launched an investigation,” security sources told Al Rai.
“Investigators were able to identify one of the four ‘children’ who were added to their mother’s husband and summoned him. He was in his 60s and said that his father and his three siblings had passed away.”
The investigators used the details he provided to piece together the information and to identify all those who benefited through him and his three brothers from the Kuwaiti citizenship.
“The investigation eventually identified the 308 relatives who were not entitled to the Kuwaiti citizenship, but obtained by their fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfather through fraudulent means.”
The case was referred to the prosecution. Under the Kuwaiti law, the granted nationality is revoked if the applicant provided false information or presented fake certificates during the application process.
The revocation is ordered by the cabinet based on a request from the interior minister.
Kuwait has been engaged for years in a massive operation to unearth cases of forgery and false information that enabled several foreigners, with the complicity of Kuwaitis, to acquire the Kuwaiti citizenship.
In a typical case, a Kuwaiti man is given money to forge documents and claim that the beneficiary is his own son. Once the document is accepted by the authorities, the beneficiary is able to obtain a birth certificate and subsequently a Kuwaiti citizenship certificate, a national identity card and a passport that allow him to benefit from the generous social, economic and political advantages granted by the state to Kuwaiti citizens.
Despite the formidable challenges in dealing with the highly sensitive and intricately complex naturalisation issue, Kuwait has been able to score successes.