Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Interior has stepped up efforts to arrest illegal residents across the country and those who report such people to the authorities will receive a reward, officials announced on Tuesday.

The intensified hunt for illegal residents comes as part of a new campaign called Sahim launched by the ministry.

The campaign, which begins today, aims at increasing awareness of the negative impact of infiltrators and illegal residents on society and to curb all forms of residency law violations, officials said.

Organised under the patronage of Lieutenant General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Sahim will also promote confidence in the security measures taken by the ministry to combat the issue.

Sahim, which literally means ‘contribute' in Arabic, is a community-oriented campaign that will reach out to Emiratis as well as expatriates through the media, civil society organisations and other local and federal bodies.

"Inspection teams will work day and night in every corner of the country to arrest infiltrators and illegal residents and bring them to justice," warned Major General Nasser Bin Al Awadi Al Menhali, acting assistant undersecretary for Naturalisation, Residency and Ports Affairs.

"The Ministry of Interior will spare no effort to track whoever enters or resides in the country illegally," he said.

The dangers of harbouring illegal residents and infiltrators will be highlighted throughout the campaign, while appealing to the community for full cooperation.

Al Menhali advised the public against dealing with such people and said those who do will face the full force of the law.

"We will continue to arrest those harbouring them."

All measures will be taken to eliminate this problem, including using the law against anyone who employs or helps an infiltrator or illegal resident in any form whatsoever, he said.

"This helps protect society from the dangers caused by this, and ensures an honourable life for everybody who legally resides here," he added.

He urged all individuals to report immediately any illegal resident in the country by calling the recently launched toll free number 80080.

Those who report such people will receive a reward; however officials, when contacted did not disclose further details about the scheme.

Law: Jail terms and fines

The entry and residence law for foreigners stipulates that anyone who employs or harbours an infiltrator will be given a jail sentence of not less than two months and fined Dh100,000. According to the same law, any establishment owner who employs an expatriate who is not under his sponsorship or leaves an employee under his sponsorship to work for someone else without observing the conditions set for sponsorship transfer or seeking permission will face a fine of Dh50,000.


80080 to report illegal residents