Police in Saudi Arabia detain more than 300 expatriate workers

Published:  23 Feb at 12 PM
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Tagged: Visas, Australia
Saudi Arabian police arrested 330 illegal foreign workers on Wednesday following a number of raids in districts across the capital Riyadh.

A police spokesman said the next day that among the districts involved in the operations were Deerah and Batha. Thirty beggars - most of whom were from Yemen - and 40 Ethiopian women were among those detained. Others arrested included foreigners without residency permits, expats working when they were not permitted to, vendors hawking in public places and absconders.

During the raids, police cordoned off certain areas to prevent the illegal expats from fleeing undetected. The detainees now face various penalties, including imprisonment, deportation or fines.

The city’s governor, Prince Faisal bin Bandar, ordered the operations, which were conducted by Labour Ministry officials and police. Authorities in the Gulf state have conducted frequent raids in recent weeks as they aim to reduce the number of illegal foreign workers in the country as well as reduce crime such as theft, brewing liquor and sorcery.

The spokesman said that the majority of crimes in Saudi Arabia were committed by foreigners who have overstayed their visas. Expats were told by the Ministry of Interior in 2013 that they had until 1 November that year to correct their residency and work status or leave the country, but many have ignored the warning and now face punishment if caught.
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