Central Bank backs strict money transfer measures

KUWAIT: Kuwait Friday categorically denied media reports that it planned to stop issuing entry visas for some nationalities, affirming that issuance of visas was a "sovereign matter". The foreign ministry "categorically denies these claims and affirms that these reported nationalities (which he did not mention) have big communities in Kuwait and enjoy full rights," Sami Al-Hamad, Assistant foreign Minister for Consular Affairs, said in a statement to KUNA.

Hamad said citizens of the countries mentioned on social media visit Kuwait regularly through direct commercial flights. Businesspeople from Kuwait and those countries are bound by commercial relations, he explained. "The State of Kuwait believes that granting of visas is a sovereign matter, and is not linked to terrorism or violence or nationality or faith," he said.

Separately, Central Bank Governor Mohammad Al-Hashel yesterday said measures applied by exchange firms regarding combatting money laundering and terror financing are based on Central Bank instructions issued in July 2013. Hashel made the remarks in response to recent social media reports that exchange firms are taking strict measures against money transfers. He assured that the 2013 instructions had been made in line with law 6/2013 regarding combatting money laundering and terror financing.

The directives, targeting local banks and finance companies that are subject to Central Bank monitoring, reflect Kuwait's commitment to relevant UN agreements, Hashel noted. As part of the Central Bank's role in the protection of the banking and financial system from the hazards of money laundering and terrorism, measures by exchange firms, banks and finance institutions are compatible with relevant international requirements, he added. - KUNA