130 illegals netted in animal market raid

480,919 expats arrested, 109,662 deported in nationwide crackdown


Okaz/Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — Passport police raided the central livestock market in Jeddah on Saturday and arrested 130 illegal expatriates of various nationalities.

The raid came within the Nation Free of Illegal Expats campaign against residency and labor regulations.

The traffic police, the Red Crescent, the Mujahideen special forces, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Jeddah Municipality took part in the raid.

The coordinated campaign also covered areas in the city where cattle and sheep are sold illegally without a license.

Saudi authorities have so far arrested 480,919 people in the crackdown against illegal foreign residents that started on Nov. 15 last year.

said the detainees included violators of residency, labor and border security regulations and as many as 109,662 of them were already deported to their respective home countries.

They said the security forces foiled attempts by 7,147 people to sneak into the Kingdom across its southern borders. About 74 percent of the would-be infiltrators were Yemenis, 24 percent Ethiopians and the remaining 2 percent constituted people of various nationalities.

Campaign sources said 972 people, including 151 Saudis, were caught for providing transport and accommodation to a number of illegal expatriates.

They said 139 Saudis were questioned, penalized and released while 12 are still under investigation.

A total of 11,796 violators, consisting of 9,764 men and 2,032 women, are currently being held in detention centers all over the Kingdom, the sources said.

They said 83,093 were penalized, 71,749 referred to their concerned embassies or consulates to issue them travel documents while 77,300 were completing their travel procedures.