564,800 illegal expats deported in a year

December 01, 2018

Saudi Gazette report

— The number of illegal foreigners detained by the Saudi authorities in a nationwide crackdown that began in November 2017 has reached 2,176,517 as of Wednesday.

Officials said as many as 564,800 people were deported from the country since the Nation Free of Illegal Expats campaign was launched late last year with the participation of 19 government and private sector agencies, including the Ministry of Labor and Social Development and the Passport Department.

According to the officials, more than 1,686,891 illegal expatriates were arrested for violating residency laws, 334,373 for violating labor regulations and 155,253 for breaching border security.

They said 36,318 people were apprehended while attempting to sneak into the Kingdom through its southern border. About 52 percent of the infiltrators were Yemenis, 45 percent Ethiopians and the rest various other nationalities.

As many as 1,727 foreigners were arrested while attempting to leave the country illegally.

The officials said 3,038 people were charged with sheltering, or providing transportation to, the illegal residents. They included 895 Saudi nationals, of whom 857 were investigated, punished and released while 38 others were still being investigated.

The campaign officials said 12,926 violators were currently being kept at various deportation centers. They consist of 10,854 men and 2,072 women.

The officials said immediate punishments were applied on 344,622 illegal expatriates while 312,185 were referred to their respective embassies and consulates to issue them travel documents. They said 379,691 were completing travel bookings.

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