Muscat: Oman authorities have arrested 1,243 illegal residents during a crackdown last month across the country, according to Salim Bin Saeed Al Badi, Director-General of Workers' Welfare at the Ministry of Manpower.

In a statement released on Saturday evening, the senior Manpower official said that the government was keen to expel every residency law violator from Oman.

"A team from the Royal Oman Police (ROP) in co-ordination with the Public Prosecution and the Manpower Ministry had launched a crackdown on residential compounds and work sites in December," he explained, adding that most of the arrested (1,104) were from Muscat. He said that the teams tracking illegal residents targeted housing areas in Baushar and Seeb districts in Muscat.

"We caught 174 [all but one Bangladeshis] illegal workers from a single farmhouse in Baushar during one such raid," he said, and added that the Mawaleh Fruits and Vegetable Market was also raided by the teams to root out illegal workers from the wholesale market.

Al Badi pointed out that among the arrested there are 417 absconding workers, 525 released workers and 162 infiltrators.

According to him, most of the apprehended workers were mostly engaged in farm work, construction industry and restaurant businesses.