Cairo: Saudi security authorities have arrested over 15,000 foreign violators of the kingdom’s residency, labour and border security laws in one week and deported 10,482 others as part of a relentless nationwide crackdown on illegals.
The arrests were made in different areas of the kingdom during the September 14-20 period, according to the Saudi news agency SPA.
They included 9,538 violators of the kingdom’s residency system, 3,694 more violators of border security rules and 1,822 others for having breached the labour laws.
A total of 43,763 illegals, including 7,378 women, are currently being subjected to legal measures, the Interior Ministry said in a weekly update.
Some 38,220 others have been referred to their respective diplomatic missions to obtain travel documents ahead of deportation, and 1,722 more illegals referred to complete travel reservations.
The update noted that 11 five 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.
Saudi Arabia, a country of around 32.2 million people, hosts a large community of migrant workers and has recently unveiled measures to regulate and stimulate the local labour market.
Authorities are pursuing a high-profile nationwide campaign, dubbed “A country without a violator” targeting irregular expatriates.