Kuwait has stepped up deportations of expatriate workers this year, a newspaper in the Gulf emirate reported on Friday, with most expelled for overstaying their residency permits but others sent home for traffic offences.

In the first four months of the year, authorities deported 14,400 expats, compared with 26,600 in the whole of 2015, Al Anba newspaper reported.

Expatriates make up some 70 per cent of Kuwait’s 4.3 million population.

In April 2013, then labour minister Thekra Al Rashidi announced plans to deport around 100,000 expatriates each year for the next decade to reduce the number of foreigners living in the emirate by one million.

The government made a string of traffic offences punishable by deportation, including jumping red lights and driving without a licence, a document difficult for many expats to obtain.

Al Anba said most of the deportations were carried out without trial, using powers given to senior interior ministry officials.

 

GN

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