Kuwait News



KUWAIT CITY, March 11 : Customs officers at the Kuwait International Airport recently foiled the attempt of an African woman to smuggle ‘drugs’ into the country, reports Al-Anba daily.

Customs officers have seized from her 1.25 kilos of qat (qat – one of the most common forms of drug use and abuse in many East African nations involves chewing parts of the khat plant) which was hidden in her handbag. The contraband and the smuggler have been referred to the authorities

Source: Arab Times

KUWAIT CITY, March 11: Director- General of the Kuwait General Administration of Customs (GAC) Jamal Al-Jalawi has issued a decision to temporarily ban the import of all types of live birds and eggs from the United Kingdom, Japan and Thailand because of the outbreak of bird flu in those countries, reports Al-Rai daily.

Al-Jalawi also issued a decision to temporarily ban the import of horses from Turkey due to the outbreak of glanders. Glanders is an infectious disease that is caused by the bacterium Burkholderia mallei. While people can get the disease, glanders is primarily a disease affecting horses.

It also affects donkeys and mules and can be naturally contracted by other mammals such as goats, dogs, and cats. Al-Jalawi issued yet another decision to lift the temporary ban on importing birds and eggs from Zimbabwe and Mexico after it was proven they are void of bird flu.

Hunt continues: Security personnel have found some clothes near the Abdali farms, which may belong to the non-Kuwaiti photojournalist, identified as Sabah Al-Jandeel, reports Al- Anba daily. Jandeel went missing in Subbiya 100 kms from Bubiyan and later it was disclosed that a vehicle apparently belonging to the missing man was pulled out of water with help of Coast Guard and the Ministry of Interior. A security source said the clothes were found at 7:00 pm yesterday and Forensic men and police dogs were at the scene to identify if the clothes belong to the missing person. The same source said the Ministry of Interior will make public details of the incident once it has all the relevant information
source: Arab Times

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 26: Minister of Health Sheikh Dr Basel Al-Sabah said the government has proposed re-evaluation of health fees for expatriates. Asked about the study on the negative and positive aspects of the fee increase, the minister confirmed a committee has been formed to conduct the study and prepare a report on the new fees stipulated in decision numbers 293 and 294/2017. He explained the re-evaluation will be based on the comments and questions raised by hospitals and health centers.

Meanwhile, MP Adel Al- Damkhi has affirmed that the National Assembly succeeded in playing its supervisory role and it is now heading towards issuing “quality legislation” through the amendment of some laws enacted by the previous legislature. “These amendments are important, considering there is no shortage in legislation and the problem lies in the implementation,” he added.

On the performance of the Assembly, Al-Damkhi disclosed the lawmakers focused on more on the oversight aspect of their functions at the beginning of the term and they are now working on the legislative side. He pointed out the previous legislature passed many laws “but we will amend some of these laws due to their negative impact on Kuwait’s image; such as the Juveniles, DNA, National Human Rights, Pre-Trial Detention and Public Tenders laws.”

 He claimed the media laws ratified by the previous legislature restrict freedom, including the Electronic Media Law (cyber crime) and many others. On another issue, the Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee rejected the proposal to amend Article Four of National Human Rights Commission Law number 67/2015, stating that approval of the National Assembly is not required in the appointment of the commission’s president and his deputy.

The committee argued the proposal calls for the amendment of the aforementioned article; so the appointment of the board members of the commission shall be through an Amiri decree based on the nomination of the Council of Ministers, while the president and vice-president are appointed without obtaining approval from the National Assembly. The proposal is aimed at rectifying a constitutional flaw in appointing the above mentioned officials as it contradicts the separation of powers principle.


By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

Bid to cover manpower needs for 13 projects

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 27: The Ministry of Health has asked the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to create 2,140 job vacancies for non-Kuwaitis in order to cover manpower needs for 13 new projects and expansion works which will start soon, reports Al-Anba daily quoting sources.

Sources disclosed the required functional degrees for non-Kuwaitis include 600 doctors who will be assigned at Jaber Al-Ahmad Hospital; 1,540 nursing jobs and 240 technicians. Sources said 1,540 job openings will be distributed to various facilities and new projects that are aimed at providing the best services to patients.

The daily obtained a copy of the report released by the ministry recently; indicating 13 construction projects will be launched soon including seven health centers, Amiri and Jaber Al-Ahmad hospitals. Meanwhile, in response to a parliamentary question submitted by MP Osama Al-Shahin, Minister of Oil and Minister of Electricity and Water Bakheet Al-Rasheedi revealed that there are about 1,000 non-Kuwaiti employees at Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) who receive monthly salaries of KD 1,000, reports Annahar daily.

He explained that these expatriate employees work as lawyers, consultants, administrative employees and engineers. Besides salaries, they receive benefits in the form of plane tickets for their families, housing allowance, health insurance, private car and allowance for meeting educational expenses.

These expatriate employees are from countries such as Pakistan, Venezuela, Yemen, Oman, Turkey, Syria, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Azerbaijan, Palestine, Mexico, Lebanon, Jordan, Colombia, Britain, Bolivia, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Australia, America, Algeria, Ecuador, South Africa and France. There are also 570 Indians, 102 Egyptians, 40 Canadians and 35 Filipinos.

Most of their monthly salaries are around KD 1,000 and above. Al-Rasheedi affirmed that all secretarial positions are occupied by Kuwaiti citizens, adding that KOC does not have any contracts for assistant positions. He revealed that there are 33 expatriate employees including 12 executive secretaries at Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and they receive salaries of around KD 1,000 per month.

In this regard, a source from the oil sector said Al-Rasheedi’s response was not sufficient, as he did not mention the job scale of expatriate employees. He clarified that they receive similar salaries to Kuwaiti employees as well as benefits, indicating that there are larger number of expatriate employees at KOC and KPC whose monthly salaries range from KD 700 to KD 1,000.

The source revealed that the sum of the salaries of expatriate employees at KOC and KPC is about KD 1,600,000 per month, which comes to about KD 20 million per year.

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 27: Results of a poll conducted by HSBC Bank revealed that salaries of expatriates in Dubai are higher than their counterparts in Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Singapore, New Zealand, Tokyo and Sydney, reports Al-Qabas daily.

In addition, companies in Dubai offer some of the most generous employment packages to expatriates who receive $138,177 a year and this is higher than the global average of $99,903.

These figures were based on data that HSBC collected from more than 27,000 respondents who participated in the ‘Expat Explorer’ poll.

Despite the high salaries of expatriates in Dubai, results of the poll showed that Mumbai, India is the most generous as expatriates there receive $217,165 per year — the highest in the world. For expatriates in Kuwait, the average salary is $123,044 per year and Kuwait ranked 17th among the world’s cities in terms of salaries given to expatriates.

The annual salaries of expatriates in Abu Dhabi and Doha are higher than those in Kuwait.

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 22, (KUNA): The Cabinet’s decision to assign Al-Durra Manpower Company to bring in workers from new countries such as Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Nepal, and others will lower recruitment fees and ensure the rights of employers and employees, the company’s General Manager Saleh Al-Wuhaib, said Thursday.

The company is working hard to bring domestic workers from new countries in coordination with the concerned Kuwaiti authorities, Al-Wuhaib told KUNA. He also stressed the company’s efforts to ensure the employees were healthy and fit to work, saying that such efforts will be in coordination with the Ministry of Health and the countries providing manpower. He explained that the company handles all recruitment procedures with a symbolic prices, high efficiency, and speed of completion in addition to qualifying them through courses in their countries.

Al-Durra is the first company in Kuwait to be formed from national bodies concerned with the public’s interest. It was established to achieve a qualitative leap in this type of business, as it carries a national and humanitarian vision in the management of the labor market, he said.

The company started to bring in experienced Sri Lankan cooks with recruitment fees of KD 500-600 ($1,650-1,980). Their salaries range from KD 120-170 ($400- 560). Al-Wuhaib said that external bodies of employment abroad are responsible for determining the fees for labor recruitment in accordance with the laws of those countries, adding that the cost of recruiting Sri Lankan domestic workers was at about KD 960 ($3,215) with the company gaining 10 percent from the recruitment process.

The rise in the cost of recruiting Sri Lankan domestic workers is due to the increase in the fees of the employment offices in Sri Lanka, with range between KD 550-600 ($1,815-1,980), as well as the official procedures of medical examination, transportation and fingerprinting, that coast about KD 240-300. The company receives about 200 daily calls from customers to request the employment of Sri Lankan workers, said Al-Wuhaib. He added that the prices of recruiting labor at private agencies was between KD 1,200-1,500 ($3,960-4,950).

Al-Durra for Manpower Company, in accordance with Law No. 69/2015, is a Kuwaiti company specialized in the recruitment of foreign workers, its ownership is distributed between the Union of Consumer Co-Operative Societies by 60%, General Authority for Investment with 10%, General Organization for Social Insurance 10%, the General Authority for Minors Affairs 10% and Kuwait Airways 10%.

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A Lebanese man suspected in the death of a Filipina maid whose body was found stuffed in a freezer in Kuwait has been arrested, the Philippine foreign secretary said Friday.

Alan Peter Cayetano said he has told President Rodrigo Duterte about the arrest in Lebanon of Nader Essam Assaf but added that Assaf’s Syrian wife, who is also a suspect in the death of Joanna Demafelis, remains at large.

The discovery of Demafelis’s body on Feb. 6 in the apartment in Kuwait City, where it had reportedly been kept for more than a year, sparked outrage and refocused attention on the tragic plight of poor Filipinas toiling mostly as maids abroad. It prompted Duterte to ban the deployment of new Filipino workers to Kuwait, where many abuses have been reported.

Assaf and his wife employed Demafelis. Duterte and other officials have asked Kuwaiti authorities to hunt for the couple.

“Assaf’s arrest is a critical first step in our quest for justice for Joanna and we are thankful to our friends in Kuwait and Lebanon for their assistance,” Cayetano said in a statement, adding that he expects Kuwait will seek Assaf’s extradition.

After attending Demafelis’s wake on Thursday in her hometown of Sara in the central Philippines, Duterte told reporters the ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait would continue and could be expanded to other countries.

Duterte said Demafelis’s body bore torture marks and signs that she was strangled. He said the government is conducting an assessment to “find out the places where we deploy Filipinos and our countrymen suffer brutal treatment and human degradation.”

The Philippines is a major labor exporter with about a tenth of its more than 100 million people working abroad. The workers have been called national heroes because the income they send home sustains the Southeast Asian nation’s economy, accounting for about 10 percent of its annual gross domestic product.

Philippine officials are under increasing pressure to do more to monitor the safety of the workers, who are mostly maids, construction workers and laborers.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III told a Senate hearing that he recalled three labor officers from Kuwait to be investigated over their failure to act on a request by Demafelis’s family for help after she went missing in January last year, he said.

Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration reported at least 196 Filipinos had died in Kuwait in the last two years, mostly for unspecified medical reasons but also four from suicide.

Monitoring their wellbeing is difficult due to the sheer numbers of workers but also by improper documentation. Nearly 11,000 of the more than 252,000 Filipino workers in Kuwait are there illegally or are not properly authorized.


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