Saudi crackdown on illegal workers, residents nets 2 million in a year

The kingdom began the crackdown last November after an extended amnesty period



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A Saudi crackdown on illegal residents and workers has netted more than 2 million people in roughly a year.

Authorities said over the weekend the campaign, which began last November, had resulted in the arrest of 2.055 million violators of labour residency and border security laws.

This indicates more than 200,000 more arrests took place over the last month.

Read: Saudi’s ongoing crackdown on illegal workers, visa violators nets over 1.8 million

Saudi Press Agency cited officials as confirming 1.588 million arrests were linked to residency violations, 318,243 to labour violations and 148,410 to border security violations.

A further 34,915 were arrested trying to enter the kingdom illegally through its southern border and 1,636 while attempting to leave the kingdom illegally.

While 2,964 people, including 833 Saudis were arrested for providing transport to illegal residents.

Nearly 14,830 people are being kept in deportation centres and 527,351 foreigners have already been deported to their home countries.

In addition, 295,930 people have been referred to their embassy or consulate for travel documents and 359,593 are completing other formalities to travel.

The crackdown on illegal residents and workers coincides with the introduction of new Saudisation rules in the retail sector, which have seen hundreds of thousands of legal foreign workers leave the country in recent months.

Read: Saudi unemployment steady in Q2, foreign labour force down 290,000