Update on Stolen Laptops in Kuwait – Police Requests

A very useful guide to reporting a theft in Kuwait.

STRIKE THREE!! YOU’RE OUT!

Two weeks ago my colleague’s laptop was stolen from his car (link).

For two weeks we have been visiting and revisiting the Police station in hopes of not actually catching the culprit, but only to report the incident of the theft which took place.

The case is as follows: the laptop is company property, it is in the custody of its recipient to do with what they please except dispose of it, hence, upon theft, the employee is held responsible until a police “clearance” is received, this clearance is achieved in the form of a report filed informing the proper authorities of the theft.

Sounds simple right?

Wrong.

In total, we have visited the police station 3 times; here is a quick rundown of the conclusions drawn from those visits:

Firstly, dates: the laptop was stolen on Monday, the 13th of August (Garfield was right)

Visit 1:

Tuesday, 14th of August. Walked through the doors, met by officer who informed us to get a letter from the company with details of the laptop serial number, make, and name of employee it was given to (a plain clothed person reiterated the fact that the stolen laptop would NOT be recovered).

Visit 2:

Thursday, 16th of August. With letter in hand, we approached the police officer, he informed us the inspector would be in office in an hour, please come back then (so technically that is 4 visits).

We went, and returned once more, only to be told by the inspector, very abruptly (during Ramadan mind you) who initially refused to listen to us, that we should come back tomorrow (FRIDAY) for the inspector who was in charge on Tuesday. I tried to explain that nothing actually happened on Tuesday, we only came and were informed by an Officer, to which the inspector replies, “was I not clear?

Friend traveled thursday night, returned this week, hence we re-visited the police station AGAIN today.

Visit 3:

 Tuesday, 28th of August. Armed with everything in hand except the kitchen sink, we went back to the police station. Again, the officer’s asked what we wanted and quickly pointed us towards the inspector. Upon knocking and entering, we were surprised to find the SAME inspector from last time.

He remembered us. Again, agitated, he asks why we didn’t come when he asked, whether or not we think they work for us etc. When I smiled to appear non threatening, he asked why am I laughing.

Trying to defuse the tense situation I explained that no theft occurred on Tuesday, nor had we met any inspector on that day, and that his words were the inspector on Tuesday comes on Friday, meet him as it is his “jurisdiction”.

He then asks who I am, and in what capacity I am talking. I told him my friend does not speak Arabic and I am there to translate. He goes, “get me a translator who is INDIAN, so I can take his [my friend’s] statement in his language and ask him questions”.

My friend speaks English and Hindi, I speak English and Arabic, I can serve as an intermediary. Apparently to the law, my friend does not speak English, and neither do I. If your passport reads Indian, hence you speak only Indian, your bilinguability if you will is called into question. Your translator must be a fellow national who speaks the local language and can communicate with you in your language as you are not a bilingual in the eyes of the law.

After informing the inspector that we do not have any employees on hand who are Hindi/Arabic bilingual, he asks us to bring a legal representative from the company, again so he can take statements. Upon inquiring whether this means the person is from the legal department or a messenger, who is authorized to conduct dealings on behalf of the company, he simply reiterates his request and goes back to his paperwork.

Could this legal representative request not have been made during our second visit? No. That would make things simple.

The inspector must be under the impression that employees routinely “fake” theft in order to commandeer laptops from their companies. We are guilty until proven innocent.

By now, the laptop must have gone through a dozen chop-shops. In fact, it is probably halfway across the world back to its original manufacturer.

And so, we wait.

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

September 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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