Illegal Visa Trader in Kuwait

KuwaitCity

Recently there have been some changes in Kuwait’s Visa process and they want to clamp down on the number of Expats in the country. I don’t think thats a good policy since most of the Expats are here because of a need, most government jobs are completed by Expats and in most private companies the Expats range from 60% to 99%, its just the truth of the matter and there is no going around it.

There is a reason that is the case, a majority of Kuwaitis want a high paying job and very little amount of work. I have met some amazing people in the private sector and entrepreneurs, but these people are not even 3% of the Kuwaiti population, the majority are in government the ones with brains face obstacles and the ones that don’t want to work are happy not going to work and getting a pay check.

Now they want to get rid of the expats so they are applying any law they see fit and they want to get to the Visa Traders (Tijaar Iqaamaat). After all these years this is what they want to do to solve the Visa trading business. You can’t report them, you can do anything with them, and the victims who are the people trying to work end up getting deported when nothing happens to the Visa Traders.

As of this week they have started picking up random expats from around Kuwait City and taking them to Jail if they have Visa Type 20 which is the house staff Visa. With the new Wakeel in the Ministry of Interior he wants to prove that he is the big man in town and so he picked on the weakest in this aspect. They take the Expat to jail and if nobody trys looking for him then they deport them within two weeks, and they contact the sponsor to pay for the ticket.

So instead of putting the Visa traders in jail and giving these guys an opportunity to make a living, they deporting the expats no matter what the circumstance is. Also be careful during this period regarding the traffic laws, it seems he wants to apply those as well, any major traffic violation and it will result in a deportation. Right now I think that these rules are basically bonkers, and extremely unfair.

False Police Accusations

I always try to think better of those in public service even when I have dealt with some scumbags but there are good people working in the public sector, even when they are hard to find.

Case 1:

This happened on Sunday last week, one of our coworkers, a 40+ yearold indian gentlemen came into work late which is odd for him because he is usually the first person there. He told me that he got his license taken by the police, when he asked why they just told him its a 5 KD fine and to go away. He told me that he was stuck in traffic going under the 5th ring road heading towards Bida’a round about, Rumaithiya on your right and Salmiya on your left. He said there were police checking car after car, and he was slowly moving in a que. Then the police men at the check point told him to pull over, there were news cameras taking pictures of police men giving tickets to foreigners and drivers. So when he gave me the form it said 120/80 meaning that he was speeding 40 kph over the speed limit which I knew was a lie since he doesn’t drive over 70 kph. They were basically pulling people over and giving mass fines, they took over 50 licenses, and the photographers were snapping away as if they are doing a great job. So what is a foreigner supposed to do, I called up a few people and turns out it was a publicity stunt for the MOI. The process to get your license is hell and to try to prove its a false accusation is nearly impossible. At the end after calling several people I managed to get his license after about three days of looking for it. But how can you prove that they are falsifying information when they don’t have to prove what happened.

Case 2:

My friend left Signor Sassi with his family in front of him. He was in the left lane to make a u-turn on a Thursday night from the GulfRoad. The u-turn was packed but going straight was empty so he cut right while the road was empty and sped up to catch up with his cousin and family in the other car. He got to about 100 kph while the speed limit was 80 kph, and way back there was one car all the way in the right lane. The car suddenly sped up with only the lower lights on coming behing my friend, then the police lights came on. He pulled him over and so did his family pull over, they were wondering why he stopped him. My friend got down said hello, he gave him his drivers license and vehicle registration and told him he just sped up but was over the speed limit and he apologizes for that, and will accept that fine. Then the police men said no you cut me off and I’m going to tow your car to the police station then to the impound lot, my friend was shocked from what he said. Then the policemen said you cut me off and you were doing over 180 kph, my friend replied saying you were on the right lane and I was behind my family how could I be going 180 kph, and I wasn’t speeding at that speed. Back and forth, back and forth but the guy was being an ass towards him even though he was being very polite and enquiring why the extreme punishment for going only 20 kph over the speed limit. Then he had to follow him to the impound lot in Sharq, he called several people to see how he could help. He managed to get to friend by the time he got to the lot, he said to hold tight while he made his calls. My friend again tried reasoning with the policemen but he said no you either take your car in or I take your car into the lot. Then he said I’m getting a phone call can you speak to the gentlemen and the police men refused but then he got the number to his direct superior who told him to release him and the car, but while on the phone with his superior he said that the driver endangered my life and many others on the street and kept adding to the form. He added “reckless driving”, “endangerment to people lives”, “refusing to pullover” while on the phone to his superior so that he can get his car locked up. I know that my friend is very polite and doesn’t argue since he was still in shock but lucky to find someone that can help. Now how in the hell are you supposed to get policemen like this off the streets, who lie and do whatever they want to persecute people for no reason. Seriously this is insane, even after getting all the details sorted he was trying to stop my friend from getting his license the next day. The problem is that in Kuwait is that the word of a policeman is not questioned in court but in situations such as this there has to be proof, its getting ridiculous the extent some of these men go.

I have heard of many stories of policemen harassing females and doing whatever they want on the road. How do you expect people to respect them when they do this, its sad when its just few who are like this. They should be held responsible and thrown off the police force, and not be employed in any other government body.

“New” Officers

KuwaitPolice

Going to Kuwait airport you tend to see a lot of strange and odd things and not think too much about it, but what I wasn’t expecting was female officer. I stood there for about a minute staring, stunned by what I was seeing in front of me. I have seen female immigration officers, they are better then the previous male immigration officers, and now Female Police Officers, Officers meaning high ranking police not the ones with a few slash marks but a Star or Mulaazim, an Officer. She was young and at the airport around 4 pm having a serious conversation with a two starred male Officer or Mulazim Awal. I’m not sure of the English translation of the rank but it was a sight, lets just hope the female injection into the police force will have a positive effect on the streets and functions, because right now most of these guys aren’t too functional. There could be hope in Kuwait with decisions such as these taking place, I’m always optimistic but this site I was happy to see, as a track record female PMs are making better decisions then some of the idiotic PMs. Still that was a shocker for me, now what would a guy do if he is stopped by a good looking female police officer since I heard they are also in the traffic police.

Side By Side

CarLanes

I was always curious about how exactly do the speed cameras decide which car is speeding when they are side by side and one is going a lot faster, so it seems I will be getting my answer soon. One woman driving Chevy Tahoe on Fahaheel Expressway (30), she was driving really aggressively when there were a lot of cars on the road, she would flash and honk, and what surprised me is that she is muhajabah, and she had kids in the car, I would think she would be more composed instead of driving like a maniac. I was on my way to Wafra for lunch, going at about 120 kmh since there were cars in front of me and around, enjoying some new playlists that I put together and a few oldies as well. After a while there was a stretch of open road on my right, and that lady tried several times to nagivate from the other lanes to get ahead but failed, so when she saw the open lanes she hit the gas and took off, I could see her coming up quick in the middle lane and no cars in front of her. I saw the speed camera up front and slow down a bit to signal her but she was a woman on a mission. The moment she passed me was the moment we were both passed the speeding camera and it flashed, and she continued to fly as if nothing happened. Now I will find out how accurate these cameras are if I get the ticket, then I am pretty much screwed because you can’t do anything about it in Kuwait and I think I have some points racked up meaning that I would lose my license for a while which is a strange thing in Kuwait, but time will tell. Knowing the MOI it will take at least 4 to 6 months before it shows in the system and if it doesn’t then I’m in the clear and those cameras work right, and if I do get a ticket then I’m taking a shot gun to those cameras and giving them a few more holes to see better.

Fines & Tickets


The Ministry of Interior really does have its work cut out for it, they seem to be getting worse and worse and the processes they setup for fees or giving out types of fines. I check on a monthly basis if there are any fines and I usually pay them right away, I have managed to stay out of the radar or in order for a while now, keeping it within limits of tolerance. Then I check last week to find three speeding tickets from past months and four parking tickets, with no specific dates. The speeding tickets seem very random, only two have the month date not even the day and one just say 2009. So basically they can give you any speeding ticket and you can’t even contest it, the funny part is two of the three speeding tickets were in cars registered in my name but are the home cars. All together with the parking tickets they added up to 100 KD, but the MOI guy told me that I will have points on my driving license and one more and I will have my license in Kuwait revoked for three months. I asked how would a father who usually registers all the cars in his name sort this out, his son is driving, his daughter, his wife, or the house driver. So basically they don’t have a solution for this and only fine the person who is registered to the car, in the US and the UK you would have a chance to prove that you aren’t the driver so you wouldn’t be the recipient of the points. They really didn’t think through all the possible situations, I really think that they make the system work in a way so that you have to talk to someone to get these dumb issues sorted out.

Tickets

  • 136 in a 120 in June of 09
  • 129 in an 100 April of 09(Mine)
  • 122 in an 80 in 09
  • 4 Parking Tickets

Note: This is the solution told to me from the MOI guy, that I do not know, is to get file for a replacement license and keep to driving licenses and when they want my drivers license for three months I just give them one of them and the request to pull my dirvers license will be revoked from the system and I can drive with the one driver’s license. And this is from a guy that I don’t even know, they really know how to make a very dumb system work.

Intense Police in Kuwait

Recently I have been insanely busy with GulfRun pretty much for the past three weeks. Modifying my car, the car show, and everything leading up to the main event at the Bahrain International Circuit. I had my Landcruiser covered with GulfRun stickers, and my Beemer was covered with stickers for all GulfRun stickers, this attracted all kinds of attention and some of it unwanted such as the police. I haven’t had a speeding ticket or any other ticket except for parking in the past two years, but in the past three weeks I have had my license taken taken twice, and my car registration taken twice as well. They are on a vengeful track these days stopping cars left, right, and center. The police officer took my car registration because of stickers, the sound of the exhaust, and front plate. Its ridiculous, I got it back the next day but why the hell so much trouble for people, can’t they just give tickets and let people just pay the fines without inconveniencing them for stupid things. It drives me nuts that they waste their time on random stupid things like these when they could really be helping people, I remember the last time I called 777 it took them over 45 minutes to find us.

After speaking to a few people who work in the Ministry of Interior and they were telling me they have orders since the beginning of November to go on this rampage, so people should be vigilant and I for one could do without all this trouble.

Link: Flickr

MOI – Kiosk

It has been over two months since they said this machine has been launched, and over two years since they said they would do it. We were walking in the Avenues and saw the MOI machine in operations and decided to try it. As an idea of the service it isn’t a bad idea, but overall I think its lacking a lot.

  • The keyboard isn’t functional, you can only use the touch screen
  • Only violation payments are possible
  • Its really really ugly, they could have taken it to any Industrial Design Engineer to make it look better
  • It prints on full A4 paper for your receipt
  • The payment works and you can pay your fines except for very high speed fines
  • You have to go through the KNET payment gateway to pay for your fines and they charge you an extra 500 fils
  • The cash acceptor doesn’t work

After all this time to work on this machine and they came out with this result its a big disappointment. They could have done a much better job and launched it a lot earlier.