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A view shows buildings and houses in Riyadh. 400 cases referred to public prosecution for human trafficking Public Authority for Manpower received 3,000 labour complaints during COVID-19 crisis Kuwait City: The Public Authority for Manpower transferred about 400 cases to the Public Prosecution for human trafficking, Al Rai media reported. The Deputy Director of the Public Authority for Manpower, Dr. Mubarak Al Azmi, told Al Rai, they received approximately 3,000 complaints from employees, all of whom are expats, as their companies have not paid them their salaries during the COVID-19 crisis. Out of 3,000 complaints, around 2,300 expats received assistance, with the help of the Ministry of Interior and the Civil Aviation, who helped them return back to their countries. Human Trafficking complaints In terms of the human trafficking, Al Azmi said that whatever complaint they receive they coordinate with the Ministry of Interior so that they open a case against the company. Once they confirm that the company is involved in human trafficking they transfer the files to the public prosecutor’s office, who then investigate the matter. He added that around 3,000 cases have been closed, either that they have been solved or they have been transferred to the public prosecutor for investigation. The term human trafficking is used to describe companies that are in the trade of selling work permits, a practice that is deemed illegal under Kuwaiti law. Companies have a quota of employees they can hire, in some cases instead of hiring the total amount they sell permits to foreign workers, on average for 1,500 Kuwaiti dinars. Those that buy a permit are oftentimes left to find a job on their own, usually conducting day to day jobs, whenever and wherever they can. Unpaid salaries Many expats have been unpaid since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, as they have been affected by the No-Work-No-Pay policy that most companies operate by, although the policy is deemed illegal under Kuwaiti law. Al Azmi explained that, “we began calling those employers that have not paid their employees, with the help of the Ministry of Interior, to try to find a solution to process the salaries of the unpaid employees. Although those companies have not been cooperating so we started to move on them.” He revealed that the Public Authority received 1980 processed salary receipts from employers, as they were unable to communicate with their employees to provide them with their salaries. Al Azmi went on to say that those salaries are available for pick up at the Public Authority for Manpower’s headquarters. As for those that have not received their salaries and no receipts were processed, their cases have been transferred to the public prosecutor’s office. Al Azmi stresses that the most important thing is to ensure workers’ rights and help facilitate any easy process for those that want to return to their home countries. Last month, around 150-200 restaurant workers, working for a well known Lebanese chain, held a protest claiming they have not been paid for the past 3 months, according to A Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: The Riyadh Police have arrested four young men who appeared in a video posted on social media platforms shooting randomly from automatic rifles, local media reported on Monday.

The Saudi suspects, in their 30s, were arrested after appearing in footage firing in the air in a neighbourhood in Riyadh, flaunting rules on possession of firearms, Colonel Shaker Al Tuwaijri, spokesperson for the Riyadh Police, said in a press statement.

The four shooters were identified after Criminal Investigation Department officers examined the content of the video, which went viral on social media platforms. The video has angered Saudi social media users who demanded the arrest of shooters who pose a danger to public safety.

Legal procedures have already been taken to refer them to the public prosecution for legal action against them, Col. Al Tuwaijri added.