5.6mln illegal expatriates arrested in Saudi Arabia

1.5mln deported since Nov. 2017

Midsection Of Person Wearing Handcuffs. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Midsection Of Person Wearing Handcuffs. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Getty Images/ Classen Rafael / EyeEm

JEDDAH — Over 5.6 million violators of residency laws, labor regulation and border security system have been arrested since November 2017, of whom 1,553,667 were deported to their respective countries, a Ministry of Interior report released on Saturday said.

About 19 ministries and government departments, including the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) and the General Directorate of Passports (Jawazat), are part of the campaign to get rid of illegal foreigners throughout the Kingdom.

The report said a total of 5,615,884 violators were apprehended in all regions of the Kingdom.

Of these, 4,304,206 expatriates were in violation of the residency regulation and 802,125 were in violation of labor laws. Violators of the border security system were 509,553.

The campaign said some 116,908 people were apprehended while attempting to infiltrate into the Kingdom through its southern borders. They consisted of 54 percent Ethiopians, 43 percent Yemenis and three percent people of various other nationalities.

It said some 9,508 people were caught while attempting to leave the Kingdom illegally.

The campaign said 8,222 people, including 2,766 Saudis, were accused of providing accommodation and transport to a number of illegal expatriates. Some 2,761 Saudis were investigated, punished and released while 5 are still being probed.

The report said 53,916 expatriates, consisting of 49,954 men and 3,962 women are currently in detention centers. Summary penalties were handed out to 714,208 violators.

The campaign said 901,700 violators were referred to their pertinent embassies and consulates to issue them travel documents while 1,047,340 were completing their bookings for outbound journeys. Meanwhile, some 1,553,667 violators were deported.

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