Police arrest an illegal in the UAE who chose this barrel for hiding. Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Supplied picture

Dubai: Police are redoubling their efforts to deter foreigners staying illegally in Dubai and have arrested over 10,000 people for not possessing legal residency in the country in view of the threat they pose to the community.

The statement came from Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Acting Chief of Dubai Police, following the recent murder, allegedly by her lover, of an expatriate staying illegally in the country.

A Filipino was arrested on suspicion of strangling his partner and disposing her body by the side of the road, said Brigadier Khalil Ebrahim Al Mansouri, director of the General Department for Criminal Investigations. It had initially been difficult to establish the identity of the victim, he said.

On March 26, the body of the unidentified woman in her forties was found in Al Twar 1 area prompting Dubai Police to release a press statement calling on the public to help identify her.

Absconders list checked

The woman was identified following intensive investigations and a group of immigrants arrested from the area where the body was found.

The Criminal Investigations Division of Dubai Police headed by Lt. Col. Ahmad Humaid Al Merri examined the list of absconders across the country hoping to get information about the victim.

"There was a big possibility that the victim had absconded from her sponsor without being reported, thus we formed an investigative team to inspect and investigate further," he said.

An investigation led by Major Ali Salim Al Shamsi led to the arrest of 421 illegal residents of various nationalities. Pictures of the victim were displayed to some of those arrested for identification.

A woman among those arrested identified the victim and police were able to arrest her lover as he was attempting to throw a suitcase containing the victim's clothes in a dumpster, said Lt. Col. Al Merri.

In 2007, the number of illegal residents touched 83,910 but dropped to 30,709 in 2008 before going up to 54,933 in 2009. The figure till mid-April this year stands at 10,145.

"We are very strict when it comes to having illegal people in the country as they could pose a health concern since they don't go through the regular medical check-up required to issue a residency visa. It also threatens the stability of the market and it is a security concern since people could commit crimes easily when they are not registered legally," Maj. Gen. Al Mazeina told Gulf News.