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Saudi crackdown on illegal residents, workers nets 1.1 million people

Saudi crackdown on illegal residents, workers nets 1.1 million people

So far, more than 300,000 people have been deported

An inspection campaign to arrest violators of residence, work and border security laws in Saudi Arabia has netted more than 1.1 million people, authorities said on Saturday.

The total, as of last Thursday, included 859,186 residency violators, 207,189 labour violators and 94,918 border security violators since the campaign began in November.

Read: Saudi says more than 500,000 visa violators arrested in crackdown

Nearly 17,000 people have been arrested attempting to cross the border into the kingdom, 56 per cent of which were from Yemen and 41 per cent from Ethiopia. Another 753 were arrested attempting to leave the kingdom illegally.

In addition, 2,094 people have been arrested for transferring, accommodating or hiding residency, labour and border security violators. This includes 379 Saudi citizens of which 349 have been released after the completion of legal procedures.

There are currently 9,259 foreigners facing legal procedures after 209,392 received immediate penalties, 165,556 were sent to their diplomatic missions to obtain travel documents and 205,155 were allowed to complete their travel booking.

So far, 305,187 people have been deported.

The campaign is taking place amid a wider exodus of legal foreign workers, who are facing a higher cost of living following the implementation of a value added tax, increased fuel and electricity prices and a dependents fee.

Read: Saudi sees 277,000 foreign workers leave jobs in Q4


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