Nearly 18,000 illegal expats, workers arrested in Saudi Arabia in 7 days

Those caught helping violators in any way could face up to 15 years in jail or fines of up to 1 million riyals

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Published: Sat 2 Dec 2023, 3:58 PM

A total of 17,976 people were recently arrested in Saudi Arabia for violating residency and labour regulations, as well as border security rules, the authorities reported on Saturday.

The violators were nabbed in joint field operations that were carried out across all regions of the country from November 23 to 29, according to details published on the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

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Among those caught were 10,881 illegal residents, 4,159 violators of border security regulations, and 2,936 who violated the labour system.

There were also 700 people arrested while trying to cross the border into the Kingdom, the authorities said. Forty per cent of them were Yemeni nationals, 56 per cent Ethiopians, and four per cent of other nationalities.

With the latest crackdown, the total number of illegal expats that were subjected to procedures had crossed the 51,000 mark. As many as 9,343 were deported.

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Interior reminded residents that those caught helping violators enter the boders or providing shelter or any assistance to these illegal expats and workers could face up to 15 years in jail or fines of up to 1 million riyals.

It also urged the public to report such violations through the hotlines 911 for Makkah Al Mukarramah, Riyadh, and Al Sharqiyah; and 999 and 996 for the rest of the kingdom.

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