The building where the body was discovered Image Credit: Al Qabas

Manama: The body of a woman, reportedly a Filipina domestic helper, was found in a freezer in an uninhabited apartment in Kuwait.

The apartment has been vacant since November 2016 when its tenants, a Lebanese man and his Syrian wife, left Kuwait and the door remained locked ever since.

Update: The Philippines will enforce a ban on new Filipino deployments to Kuwait starting Monday 12 February 2018.

The body was discovered after a court order was issued for the owner of the apartment to vacate it and justice staff, as part of the procedures to re-possess the premises, inspected the rooms and checked the household items.

Alerted about the discovery of the frozen body, the Ministry of Interior launched an investigation, Kuwaiti daily Al Rai reported on Thursday.

Data revealed that the flat had been rented by Syrian woman and that her husband, a Lebanese national was wanted by authorities in connection with several legal cases, including bouncing cheques, and with a court ruling of 14 days in jail.

The data also showed that the Lebanese man was the sponsor of a Filipina domestic helper and that he reported her missing two days before he and his wife left Kuwait.

A murder case was recorded in the Hawali police station and investigators were tasked with solving the crime.

The Philippines ambassador to Kuwait told Al Rai that the embassy was following up on the matter and that the probe has not so far identified the Asian-looking victim or determined her nationality.

He reportedly added that such an individual crime, in case the victim was identified as a Filipina, would not affect relations between Kuwait and the Philippines.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has recently ordered the suspension of Filipino workers to Kuwait, citing cases of abuse and mistreatment including a high profile case of a Filipina domestic helper committing suicide.

Update: The Philippines will enforce a ban on new Filipino deployments to Kuwait starting Monday 12 February 2018.

“One more incident about a woman, a Filipina being raped there, I’m going to stop, I’m going to ban,” Duterte said in January.

On Wednesday, Duterte received Kuwait’s Ambassador to the Philippines Saleh Ahmad Althwaikh to review the situation of Filipinos working in the northern Arabian Gulf state.

Around 265,000 Filipinos, including 165,000 domestic helpers, work in Kuwait.