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People have lunch at a restaurant in Kuwait City Image Credit: AFP

Cairo: Kuwaiti security authorities arrested last week a total of 409 foreigners for violating the country’s residency and labour laws, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported.

The arrests were made at security checkpoints and by mobile patrols in Kuwait’s six governorates, Al Jarida newspaper added.

Forty other expatriates were arrested in connection to absenteeism reports filed by employers, the paper quoted security statistics as showing.

Some 164 others carrying no identification documents were also rounded up in the campaign that also uncovered 53 drug offences.

Kuwait has recently stepped up a crackdown on illegal expatriates after having repeatedly extended the grace period for violating residents to readjust their status.

Media reports said some 14,650 foreigners have entered Kuwait on visit visas in the past three years and have not left for their home countries, swelling illegal expatriates in Kuwait.

The Interior Ministry vowed to continue security campaigns nationwide to arrest illegals and outlaws.

The Gulf country seeks to redress its demographic imbalance amid fallout from the COVID-19. Foreigners make up nearly 3.4 million of Kuwait’s overall population of 4.6 million.

In recent months, there have been increasing calls in Kuwait for curbing foreigners’ employment alongside accusations that migrant workers have strained the country’s infrastructure facilities amid economic repercussions from the pandemic.