Superheroine Consular Carol urges Brit expats to take better care of their passports

Published:  17 Mar at 6 PM
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Just as most UK expats had managed to forget the zany side of their home country, the UAE British Embassy's social media pages are using a cartoon superheroine to advise that keeping passports in freezers is not the best idea.

The www, webpage is a must-visit for expats bemoaning the good old days when Britishers were known worldwide for their eccentricity. It features a new, female superhero cartoon character, Consular Carol, whose only job in life is to help protect British passports, wherever on the planet they may be stored.

Consular Carol warns against the risk of having to pay for an emergency travel document after Rover snacked on his owner’s passport as well as gently mentioning this essential document is not machine-washable. Several GCC English language newspapers have taken on the task of helping Consular Carol by publishing her latest plea against keeping passports in freezers, apparently a regrettably true story for one unfortunate Briton working in the UAE.

According to the British Ambassador to the UAE, the online campaign is intended to remind expats of the time, cost and inconvenience of having to get a replacement at short notice. He referred to the superhero theme as pure fun, but older expats who remember the UK in all its former imperial glory might have a moment of nostalgia whilst they’re searching for their mislaid travel documents.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, or what passes for it nowadays, government ministers in Kuwait are still concentrating on expatriates and their effect on the emirate, with MP Khalil al Saleh urging the financial authority to investigate and monitor more closely all large money transfers by expats. Figures, he says, amount to a massive KD21.2 billion capital outflow between 2010 and 2014, with al Saleh wanting to know why these sums have not been subject to tax.

He’s in good company with his enquiries, as several MPs have recently called for a five per cent tax on all outflows originating from within the emirate’s expat community. Al Saleh is requesting details of the figures for the past two years, adding the totals given excluded transfers made using unofficial channels.

He believes expat money transfers should be closely monitored to ensure they are in line with the salaries of the expats concerned. The total of transfers made by foreigners living and working in Kuwait is, he says, one of the highest of all the GCC countries, inferring the sums themselves may be connected to money-laundering or even terrorist activities.

Source: Khaleez Times, Kuwait Times
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