360 illegal workers detained

Police check papers of bus passengers in Riyadh.

Police check papers of bus passengers in Riyadh.

In a major crackdown, Riyadh police have arrested 360 expatriates staying illegally in the Kingdom including 60 wanted men.

Police teams, acting on a directive from Riyadh Gov. Prince Turki bin Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz carried out raids on foreign workers involved in criminal activities including thefts, sorcery, employing illegal workers and brewing liquor.

The raids, over a period of two days, were conducted in the Manfouha district and in the area around Exit 5. Ethiopians and Yemenis formed the bulk of those arrested during the inspections carried out on Monday and Tuesday.

Police targeted buses and taxis, construction sites and workers’ camps where illegal residents are found in large numbers. According to official sources, most crimes in the Kingdom are committed by illegal residents who have overstayed their visas.

A survey conducted recently by a local Arabic daily said that security forces in Riyadh are faced with a massive task of policing some districts of the city, including Manfouha , Shumaisi, Nasseriyah, Faisaliah, Kubeirah and Batha which are hotbeds of crime.

According to sources, those who have been arrested will face punitive action including fines and even deportation depending on the nature of their crime. The operations were carried out by Riyadh police in cooperation with other law-enforcement agencies. Among those arrested were men, women and children who have mainly been living in the Manfouha district south of Batha in violation of the Kingdom’s labor and residency laws.

The Ministry of Interior had earlier advised all illegal expatriates in the Kingdom to correct their work and residency status following the end of the amnesty period on Nov. 1, 2013 or leave the country.

Inspections to weed out illegal workers continue across the country with the police having arrested more than 100,000 illegal residents this year in the Eastern Province alone.


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