300 illegal expats held in Riyadh
RIYADH: MD RASOOLDEEN - Mon, Mar 30th 2015 12:00 AM
300 illegal expats held in Riyadh
In a crackdown against illegal workers, more than 300 people­ were rounded up from three districts of Riyadh last week.
Among those arrested were three wanted men of Yemeni nationality and 13 Ethiopian women. The week-long operation, conducted on a special directive by the Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar, targeted illegal expats in Batha, Manfouha and Shumaisi districts, the police said.
The arrested women include hawkers and maids working in private households. They are mostly from the Shumaisi area, home to a large number of Africans and Pakistanis.
According to the police, most of these expatriates were working as truck drivers, construction workers, taxi drivers and vendors, while the rest have been working as free lancers for various jobs.
Most of the pavement hawkers in these districts were illegal workers and also engaged in hiring domestic helps for various households. Many of the suspects are either runaway workers or those whose resident permits (Iqama) have expired, police said.
The police had cordoned off the areas in the three districts to prevent the suspects from fleeing.
The security authorities conduct regular inspections to apprehend illegal workers to curb crimes such as thefts, sorcery and brewing liquor.
An official told Arab News that most crimes in the Kingdom are committed by expatriates overstaying their visas.
During the amnesty period offered by the late Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, iIlegal residents were allowed to leave the Kingdom without any penalties.
However, the Ministry of Interior advised all illegal expatriates to get their work and residency permits regularized, following the end of the amnesty period on Nov. 1, 2013 or leave the country.
Those arrested during last week’s raids will be fined or repatriated to their countries, depending on the cases, the official said.