Riyadh skyline, Saudi Arabia. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Cairo: Saudi Arabia has said that 11,915 foreign violators of the kingdom’s residency, labour and border security laws had been arrested in one week in a sustained nationwide clampdown on illegals.

The kingdom’s Interior Ministry said the arrests were made in different areas on July 6-12.

They included 6,359 violators of the kingdom’s residency system, 3,753 more violators and 1,803 others for having breached the labour laws, according to a breakdown given by the ministry.

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A total of 35,700 illegals, including 6,080 women, are currently being subjected to legal measures, the ministry said in a weekly update.

Some 26,161 others have been referred to their respective diplomatic missions to obtain travel documents ahead of deportation, and 3,407 more illegals referred to complete travel reservations while 4,508 others have been deported from the kingdom. The ministry said that five people were arrested during the same period for involvement in transporting, sheltering and employing violators of the kingdom’s residency, border and work regulations.

The Saudi Interior Ministry has repeatedly warned that those who facilitate the entry of infiltrators into the kingdom, or provide them with transportation, shelter or any sort of assistance face penalties of a maximum of 15 years in prison, and a fine of up to SR1 million, as well as confiscation of the transport and the accommodation means, in addition to naming to shame them.

Saudi Arabia, a country of around 32.2 million people, hosts a large community of migrant workers. The kingdom is going ahead with a relentless nationwide campaign, dubbed “A country without a violator” targeting irregular expatriates and aimed to create a regulated labour market.