Indians are among the 2,136 people apprehended in Kuwait during raids on visa violators and those involved in crimes like theft, an official at the Indian Embassy in Kuwait has said.

Thought the exact number of Indians taken into custody is not clear, the official said the Indian Embassy in Kuwait had accepted around 300 applications from relatives of those arrested, and the officials would visit police stations to look into the matter.

Some of those arrested have already been released, he told PTI.

According to reports, officials from Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior apprehended 2,136 individuals for expired residency and involvement in drug, theft, liquor and such cases during impromptu security campaigns.

Nationality not revealed

However, the nationality of those arrested was not revealed in those reports.

“Since we are in the middle of the weekend, we are accepting applications and visiting the police stations to seek further details. The three labour attaches at the Embassy will take up the matter beginning tomorrow [Sunday],” the Embassy official said.

He said they were unaware of the details as each case was different and would have to be treated differently.

“Some of them have khadim and khaddama (i.e. domestic) visas that have either not been regulated or are illegal in the first place, he said. Such arrests are generally followed by deportation with a ban on entry to the country. An amnesty given by Kuwait last year helped a large number of Indians regularise their papers.

Campaign will continue

Earlier, a statement from the Security Media Department of Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior said the authorities would continue such campaigns and strict legal action would be taken against sponsors who fail to report the disappearance of their labourers.

Ravi suspects fraud

Special Correspondent reports from Thiruvananthapuram:

Meanwhile, Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi has asked the Indian Embassy to provide the list of agents who recruited manpower, in the wake of the arrest in Kuwait of many Indians for visa violations.

Reacting to news reports, Mr. Ravi told The Hindu on the phone from New Delhi that he suspected that a big fraud had been committed on innocent job-seekers. He said he directed the Chief Ministers to initiate legal proceedings, including criminal cases, against erring recruitment agents.

More In: National | News