Saudis guard foreigners living illegally in Saudi Arabia. Image Credit: Courtesy of Sabq/file

Cairo: A total of 16,288 illegal expatriates were arrested in one week in nationwide security campaigns in Saudi Arabia as part of a relentless clampdown on foreign violators of the kingdom’s residency, labour and border security laws, authorities have said.

The Interior Ministry said the arrests, made over the period of January 26 until February 1, included 9,343 violators of the kingdom’s residency system, 4,107 violators of the border security rules and 2,838 others who breached the labour regulations.

Authorities also arrested during the same period 19 persons involved in transporting, sheltering and employing violators of residency, border and work regulations, the ministry added.

A total of 24,246 illegals, including 2,115 women, are currently being subjected to deportation measures, while 11,552 other violators were deported from the kingdom.

In recent months, Saudi police announced arresting several suspects in offering assistance to border infiltrators and violators of the kingdom’s rules.

Last month, Saudi police in the south-western region of Al Baha arrested two citizens for transporting in a vehicle driven by one of them 11 violators of the border security law.

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 hosts a large community of migrant workers.