Muscat: Oman Police have foiled an attempt to smuggle five people, hidden in a car’s trunk, out of the country from Wadi Jizzi border with the UAE, about 370km north-west of Muscat.
“Alert officers at the Wadi Jizzi border post foiled a human trafficking attempt,” a spokesman for the Royal Oman Police’s (ROP) public relations department said.
He added that when the accused Omani driver approached the border, the officers on duty found his behaviour a bit odd so they singled him out for a thorough check.
“The search revealed five people curled up inside the boot of the car,” he said, adding that none of them had legal resident status in Oman.
“We have arrested all five as well as the driver and handed them over to the Public Prosecution for further investigations and a court case,” he added.
He urged all citizens to refrain from attempting to smuggle people out of or into the country. “Those who help in smuggling people are equally accountable in a court of law,” he warned.
He said that these illegal residents were largely responsible for various crimes in the country, including smuggling and propagating narcotics. “Help us [ROP] combat the scourge of illegal residents,” he appealed to all residents.
Meanwhile, ROP officers arrested 608 expatriates of different nationalities from Salalah, about 1,000km south of Muscat, on charges of violating the country’s residency law, according to a press release.
“The early morning raid on Wednesday was carried out in cooperation with the Attorney-General’s office,” a spokesman for the ROP’s Public Relations Department said.
He added that the police raid followed information about a big group of illegal residents in one area.
“We request all residents in the country to inform police about illegal residents and refrain from giving them shelter or employment,” he urged.