Raids net hundreds of illegals


Hundreds of residency and labor law violators have been arrested during the raids launched by the Interior and Labor Ministries.

“We have made preparations to conduct an intensive crackdown on illegal foreigners in the Kingdom’s different regions and we have adopted new mechanisms for the purpose,” said a joint statement issued by the two ministries on Monday.

In the Eastern Province alone police arrested 658 illegal foreign workers on the first day, bringing the total number of expats arrested in the region to 145,295. A total of 5411 illegals were held in Jazan, 633 in Asir and 60 in Baha.

The new mechanisms aim to track violators and punish them in accordance with the Kingdom’s laws, the statement said. Officials told Arab News that penalties would be applied not only to illegal expats but also those who shelter them, hire them and enable them to move around.

Sponsors who allowed their foreign workers to open own private businesses and employers who failed to report their overstaying workers face punishments.

The joint raids by the two ministries, in the second phase of the major campaign, will also target private businesses of expat workers, absentees from work, infiltrators and Haj and Umrah pilgrims who overstayed visas.

Foreigners who came on visit visas as well as for tourism, treatment and transit purposes and did not leave the Kingdom before the expiry of their visas will also be arrested and deported, the statement said while urging citizens to support the campaign to free the Kingdom from illegals.

Institutions that employ infiltrators will be fined SR100,000, slapped a five-year ban on recruitment while its manager will be jailed for two years. If the manager is an expat, he will be deported after serving the jail sentence.

Haj and Umrah companies who fail to inform the competent authorities for any delayed departure of their pilgrims after the deadline will be fined up to SR100,000.

The statement urged citizens and residents to follow the residency and labor regulations so they are not subjected to fines amounting up to SR100,000, jail for six months and five-year recruitment ban.

Those who harbor illegal expats can also face similar fines amounting up to SR 100,000, two-year imprisonment and deportation if they are expats. The ministries stated that the fines vary depending on the crimes.

The ministries urged citizens to report violators by calling 989. The list of violations and penalties can be found on their websites.


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