Cairo: Saudi Arabia has deported more than 1,000 illegal residents as authorities in the kingdom are pressing ahead with a crackdown on violators of its laws, according to a security official.
Spokesman for the Saudi border guard Col Misfer Al Quraini said field campaigns are underway to expose violators across the country.
He added that violators of the Saudi border security rules could face up to 30 months in prison and a maximum fine of SR25,000.
The Saudi Interior Ministry, meanwhile, said the campaigns had rounded up a total of 17,896 violators of the kingdom’s residency, labour and border security laws in the last week of January.
The arrests comprised 10,874 violators of residency rules, 4,123 others who breached the border security law and 2,899 more foreigners who violated the labour law, according to a breakdown from the ministry.
A total of 56,686 illegals, including 5,241 women, are currently being subjected to legal measures.
Some 49,721 others have been referred to their respective diplomatic missions to obtain travel documents ahead of deportation, while 1,789 more illegals were referred to finalise travel reservations.
Seven persons 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.
The ministry has said collaboration with infiltrators is a major crime warranting arrest and is considered a dishonouring act and a breach of trust.
Saudi authorities are pursuing a high-profile nationwide campaign, dubbed “A country without a violator” targeting irregular expatriates.