843 com­pa­nies with 5,911 reg­is­tered work­ers sus­pended

Pub­lic Author­ity for Man­power cracks down on fake com­pa­nies

Kuwait Times - - Front Page - By Nawara Fat­ta­hova

KUWAIT: The Pub­lic Author­ity for Man­power (PAM) raided fake com­pa­nies on Sun­day evening in the Cap­i­tal, Hawally and Far­waniya gov­er­norates. The in­spec­tors di­vided into three groups and were ac­com­pa­nied by re­porters from var­i­ous me­dia out­lets. The raids re­sulted in sus­pend­ing the com­mer­cial li­censes of 843 com­pa­nies with 5,911 em­ploy­ees reg­is­tered with them - 181 com­pa­nies in the Cap­i­tal gover­norate with 1,081 em­ploy­ees; 314 com­pa­nies in Hawally with 2,144 em­ploy­ees; and 348 com­pa­nies in Far­waniya with 2,686 em­ploy­ees.

The raids fo­cused mainly on empty of­fices of fake com­pa­nies, in ad­di­tion to other vi­o­la­tions. The em­ploy­ees reg­is­tered with th­ese fake com­pa­nies are work­ing some­where else or are un­em­ployed (mar­ginal la­bor­ers). The own­ers of th­ese com­pa­nies are com­mit­ting hu­man traf­fick­ing, as they only founded a com­pany to sell visas to ex­pats with­out prac­tic­ing any com­mer­cial ac­tiv­ity.

In­ac­tive firms founded only to sell visas to ex­pats

Reg­u­lar in­spec­tions

This was not the first raid by PAM on fake com­pa­nies, but the in­spec­tions will now be reg­u­lar and more fre­quent. “Pre­vi­ous in­spec­tions on cer­tain malls proved that all or the ma­jor­ity of the com­pa­nies there were not prac­tic­ing any busi­ness. The of­fices were va­cant and were very small, and some had few pieces of fur­ni­ture as a cam­ou­flage,” Ah­mad Al-Musa, Act­ing Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of PAM, said after the raids.

PAM will be co­op­er­at­ing with other pub­lic bod­ies. “We are now co­op­er­at­ing with the Min­istry of Com­merce and the Pub­lic Author­ity for Civil In­for­ma­tion to ver­ify civil regis­tra­tions and com­mer­cial li­censes. We will check the to­tal num­ber of com­mer­cial li­censes and the num­ber of em­ploy­ees reg­is­tered on each li­cense. The of­fices that were in­spected to­day are tem­po­rar­ily sus­pended with code 72. After their rep­re­sen­ta­tives come here, they will be trans­ferred to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion depart­ment with code 71. If they are guilty, the law will be strictly ap­plied on them,” he added. In­spec­tors from the la­bor in­spec­tion depart­ment will con­duct fol­low-up vis­its. “They will go on morn­ing and evening in­spec­tions. The raids will be reg­u­lar - monthly or weekly de­pend­ing on the vi­o­la­tions ob­served by the in­spec­tors on pre­vi­ous vis­its. Some malls are on the black­list, and no com­mer­cial li­censes will be is­sued as they al­ready have nu­mer­ous and re­peated vi­o­la­tions,” Musa ex­plained.

Ac­cord­ing to him, by the end of this year, the sys­tem will be com­pletely elec­tronic. “Ma­chines will tally the com­mer­cial li­censes, groups, dates of re­newal and oth­ers. This will avoid any in­ter­fer­ence by any of­fi­cial or di­rec­tor in the in­spec­tion process. The in­spec­tors will use ma­chines in doc­u­ment­ing vi­o­la­tions, which will raise trans­parency,” con­cluded Musa.

Elim­i­nat­ing traf­fick­ing

Ab­dul­lah Al-Mutoutah, Deputy Di­rec­tor for Man­power Pro­tec­tion, said that th­ese raids will elim­i­nate hu­man traf­fick­ing. “Th­ese raids aim to en­sure that em­ploy­ers re­spect the rules of the la­bor law. We will re­lease de­tails to clar­ify the vi­o­la­tions. The vi­o­la­tors will then be trans­ferred to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion depart­ment. We will do our duty, and then the judge will de­cide the penalty for the crime com­mit­ted,” he said dur­ing a raid in Hawally. Salem Al-Jadi, head of the raid­ing team in Hawally gover­norate, ex­plained that the in­spec­tors dur­ing this raid posted warn­ing stick­ers on empty of­fices, giv­ing own­ers three days to clar­ify their sta­tus by vis­it­ing the PAM head­quar­ters and sub­mit­ting doc­u­ments of their busi­nesses. “We placed the warn­ing sticker even on some of­fices with fur­ni­ture or decor, since no­body was work­ing in­side the of­fice or the shop. We also took pho­tos of the e-num­ber of the of­fice. We send it to the cen­tral direc­torate, and they check it to see whether there is a li­cense reg­is­tered on it or not. The most sig­nif­i­cant ev­i­dence that no­body is work­ing in the of­fice is the pile of classified ad pa­pers un­der the door of the of­fice,” Jadi told Kuwait Times. The pub­lic can also par­tic­i­pate in re­port­ing any vi­o­la­tion of the la­bor law by con­tact­ing PAM at pr@man­power.gov.kw, 25359232 or What­sApp: 69009600

— Pho­tos by Joseph Sha­gra

KUWAIT: Pub­lic Author­ity for Man­power in­spec­tors are seen dur­ing the cam­paign.

The empty of­fice of a fake com­pany busted dur­ing the crack­down.

An in­spec­tor leaves a note at a closed com­pany’s of­fice, in­form­ing its owner to re­port to au­thor­i­ties within three days.

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