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Kuwait arrests 'gang' tampering with expat blood samples

Employees in Kuwait's health ministry were tampering with blood results of expats [AFP]

Date of publication: 4 February, 2018

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A 'gang' in Kuwait's Ministry of Health who were tampering with the blood test results of expats have been arrested after being monitored for four months.

Kuwait has arrested what it calls a “gang” inside its Ministry of Health which has been tampering with blood samples of expats, which take part in determining whether an expat is allowed to enter the country.

A number of people working at Kuwait’s Foreign Labour Test Centre were arrested on Friday after dubious test results were sent back when the Ministry of Interior ordered emergency blood tests for four Egyptian nationals.

The results showed that two individuals suffered from Hepatitis B and two others from Hepatitis C, said Assistant Undersecretary for Public Health, Dr Majda Al Qattan.

The group of employees were, according to the ministry, skewing blood test results by interfering with the samples when they were transported from the room where blood tests are taken to the laboratory, she added.

This comes four months after suspicions about the group of employees arose. The Ministry of Interior has been monitoring them since.

It is unclear why the “gang” have been tampering with the test results, nor is it clear as to whether they are taking briberies.

Kuwait is nutorious for its crackdown on allowing expats to enter the country.

Manila barred Filipinos from working in Kuwait last month, as it investigates the mysterious deaths of nationals in the Gulf state.
 
Philippines Labour Secretary Silvestre Belo said the ban would be in place "pending investigation of the causes of deaths of about six or seven of our OFWs (overseas Filipino workers)".

The move came a day after President Rodrigo Duterte hit out at Kuwait over the treatment of Filipino workers and threatened to prevent nationals from going to the Gulf state.

He said employer abuse in Kuwait had driven four workers to suicide, while others had suffered sexual abuse in the country.

"[We want a] state the truth and [Kuwait to] just tell them that [abuse is] not acceptable anymore," he said.

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