Close to 1.3 million illegals netted, 300,000 deported in 7 months

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Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH
— As many as 1,279,920 expatriate violators of residency, labor and border security regulations were arrested in the past seven months in a nationwide crackdown, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

At least 19 ministries and government departments, including the Ministry of Labor and Social Development and the Directorate General of Passports, are taking part in the Nation Without Illegal Expats campaign launched in November 2017.

According to the ministry, 953,951 of the expatriates have violated the system of residency, 222,235 labor laws and 103,733 the border security system.

The ministry said 225,181 were immediately punished, 179,796 referred to their embassies and consulates to obtain travel documents, while 226,545 were asked to complete travel bookings. The authorities deported 330,459 violators to their respective home countries.

The ministry said 11,170 violating expatriates were currently being held in detention centers. They consisted of 9,185 men and 1,985 women.

The ministry said a total of 2,186 people, including 417 Saudi nationals, were arrested for providing accommodation and transport to illegal expatriates.

It said 389 of the Saudi detainees were interrogated, punished and released while 28 were still under investigation.

The ministry said some 19,507 foreigners were caught while trying to sneak into the Kingdom across its southern borders. It said 53 percent of the infiltrators were Yemenis, 44 percent Ethiopians and 3 percent people of various other nationalities.

It said as many as 809 expatriates were apprehended while attempting to sneak illegally out of the Kingdom.


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