Muscat: Oman on Tuesday morning deported 68 infiltrators as the drive against illegal residents in the country continues with the joint efforts of the security agencies, Royal Oman Police (ROP) and the Ministry of Manpower.

According to an ROP press release the 68 deported on Tuesday were trying to enter the country illegally. The press release stated that the deportees were Asians. Those caught infiltrating often come from Pakistan.

For over eight years, Oman has been deporting a large number of illegal residents by boat. At one stage in 2005, over 700 were packed in one boat and sent home on an almost weekly basis.

The ROP statement clarified that due legal process was followed before the decision was taken to deport the illegal residents. “We have also coordinated with the embassy of the country concerned to establish the identity of their nationals before being sent back to their homes,” a spokesman for the ROP said.

He also confirmed that the ROP had intensified patrols along the shores of Oman to catch the intruders, and boats used by human traffickers in transporting infiltrators, and in the framework of the efforts undertaken to address the phenomenon of infiltration.

He also reminded citizens as well as residents in Oman that sheltering or providing employment to these infiltrators or any illegal resident, was violation of Oman’s laws.

“These infiltrators are largely responsible for the increase in criminal activities like thefts and rise in drug abuse in the country,” he pointed out.

He further said that these illegal residents were also involved in an organised crime of providing illegal telecommunication services thus risking the security of the country.

‘These infiltrators are a risk to the society and the community should come together to help police counter this phenomenon,” he urged.

He asked everyone to inform police on 9999 or contact the nearest police station if they come to know about illegal residents in the country.