Saudi resumes crackdown on illegal workers, residents
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Saudi resumes crackdown on illegal workers, residents

Saudi resumes crackdown on illegal workers, residents

Nearly 5.7 million have been arrested in the campaign, which began in November 2017

Saudi workers

Saudi has resumed its campaign of cracking down on labour and residency violators, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The kingdom has been detaining people for residential, labour and border security regulations since November 2017. However, no announcements about the crackdown were made following the Covid-19 outbreak, when the kingdom also implemented several travel restrictions.

A total of 5,651,619 people have been arrested as of June 24, including over 4.32 million for residency violations, 803,186 for breaking labour laws and 525,350 for flouting border regulations.

The report also stated that 116,930 people have been apprehended while attempting to illegally enter into the kingdom’s borders – including Ethiopians (54 per cent), Yemenis (43 per cent) and others of various nationalities.

Meanwhile 9,550 people were caught while seeking to leave the kingdom illegally.

A total of 8,241 people were arrested for their involvement in the transfer, accommodation and concealment of those who violated the law. That included 2,769 Saudi nationals, with six of them currently in detention pending an investigation.

Immediate penalties have been imposed against 715,216 offenders, while 913,306 have been transferred to their respective diplomatic missions to obtain travel documents. While over one million have been referred to complete their travel reservations, over 1.5 million violators have been deported.

The Ministry of Interior stressed that anyone who facilitates the entry of an intruder into the kingdom and provides them with shelter, assistance or service in any way, shall be punished with penalties of up to 15 years in prison, a fine of up to SAR1m and the confiscation of the means of transportation and housing used.

The clampdown on illegal expatriates began following an amnesty in the kingdom which ran from late March 2017 until November 2017. An estimated 750,000 people belonging to 140 nationalities benefited from the initiative, according to reports.

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