A court in Kuwait has sentenced a man to seven years in jail for acquiring the country’s citizenship fraudulently. The man, believed to be of Saudi origin, was also ordered to pay a fine of KD48,000 and restitute KD 24,000 dinars to the state.
The public prosecution said the man acquired Kuwaiti citizenship in 1973 after a Kuwaiti man presented forged documents and registered him as his own son, Kuwaiti daily Al Rai reported on Monday.
The Kuwaiti man, who died in 1984, would have faced charges of forging official documents. The case came to light in 2015 when the Saudi-Kuwaiti man wanted to register a young man as his son. However, he became nervous and agitated when he was unable to answer the officer’s questions about the “son”.
An investigation was launched and the attempted forgery in 2015 and the falsification of the citizenship documents in 1973 were discovered, leading to the arrest and the court trial.
Kuwait has been engaged in a massive operation to unearth cases of forgery and furnishing false information that enabled some foreigners, with the complicity of Kuwaitis, to acquire citizenship.
Despite the formidable challenges in dealing with the highly sensitive and intricately complex naturalisation issue, the northern Arabian Gulf country has been able to score some successes.
In 2015, the efforts led to the unmasking of 105 people who acquired Kuwaiti citizenship illegally. The figures for 2016 are expected to be much higher since the number of people arrested in the first seven months of the year for obtaining Kuwaiti citizenship fraudulently had reached 106.
They include two men who acquired Kuwaiti citizenship fraudulently more than 50 years ago. The two men, born to an Iraqi family, have been enjoying the benefits of Kuwaiti citizenship since 1965 when their father conspired with a Kuwaiti man who agreed, upon receiving money, to register them officially as his own sons.