Dubai: A member of Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council has called for a more stringent measures to combat people who overstay their visas in the country.

Sadqa Fadhel said that many foreigners enter the country for religious tourism or employment and overstay their visas.

“Their presence has dangerous political, economic, social and security repercussions,” he told the London-based Al Hayat daily on Monday.

“Saudi Arabia has reaped only harm and damage from their onslaught. Most of the police stations are overwhelmed by problems caused mainly by these individuals. These include traffic violations, fraud, drugs, prostitution, theft, witchcraft, epidemics, intimidation and murder,” he said.

Fadhel insisted that he was referring only to “specific groups” of people and that not all foreigners were troublemakers.

Saudi Arabia has in the last five decades become a destination for illegal emigrants, mainly from Africa and Asia.

Fadhel says these people often come from the low social classes in their countries and end up “filling Saudi streets with filth and crime”.

A large number of these foreigners have managed to reside in Saudi Arabia for decades, and their numbers have multiplied through birth in an alarming and shocking manner, he added.

“They are trying to impose themselves in the country, not through invasion and occupation, but through infiltration, law violation and hiding. The kingdom may find itself in the long run compelled — maybe under international pressure — to accept them within the Saudi spectrum.”