Kuwait could ban 100,000 from travel over dues

KUWAIT Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:48am EST

A general view of Kuwait City November 10, 2012. Picture taken November 10. REUTERS/Stephanie Mcgehee

A general view of Kuwait City November 10, 2012. Picture taken November 10.

Credit: Reuters/Stephanie Mcgehee

KUWAIT (Reuters) - Kuwait could ban nearly 100,000 of its residents from leaving the country for failing to pay dues owed to the state, local newspaper reported, quoting a senior Justice Ministry official.

The policy is part of a government plan to collect nearly 12 million Kuwaiti dinars in fees for the use of state services, or as fines in felony and misdemeanour cases, Thursday's edition of the Kuwait Times quoted Mohammad al-Duaij as saying.

From January 2, the state will automatically start blacklisting people who owe money, he said, adding that the ban would be imposed using a court order and come into effect 90 days later.

It could be lifted following payment of the dues or for humanitarian reasons, he said. Daily al-Rai newspaper said the ban applied to Kuwaiti nationals and foreign residents.

The Gulf Arab state has a population of 3.7 million people, around two-thirds of them foreigners. (Reporting by Sylvia Westall; Editing by Eric Walsh)