Over 670,000 violators netted,161,000 deported

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Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — Saudi security authorities have so far arrested as many as 671,272 violators of the residency and labor regulations in a nationwide crackdown that was launched on Nov. 15, 2017 as part of the Nation Without Illegal Expats campaign. About 161,000 of them have already been deported from the country.

Officials said 19 ministries and government departments were participating in the coordinated campaign.

They said 469,836 expatriates were arrested for violating the system of residency, 142,016 for breaking labor laws and 59,420 for breaching border security.

In a statement, campaign officials said about 9,465 people were detained while attempting to sneak into the Kingdom through its southern borders. Some 65 percent of the infiltrators were Yemenis, 32 percent Ethiopians and the remaining 3 percent constituted various nationalities.

It said 529 expatriates were apprehended while trying to sneak out of the Kingdom illegally.

According to the officials, about 1,300 people were caught for providing accommodation and transport to illegal expatriates. They included 198 Saudi nationals, 180 of whom have been freed after investigations and punishment while 18 are still being probed.

As many as 120,881 detained expatriates were immediately penalized, 93,312 referred to their concerned embassies and consulates to issue them with travel documents and 105,304 were still completing their travel arrangements.

The officials said 11,016 men and 2,194 women were currently held at various detention centers.


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