Saudi security authorities have intensified their efforts in a week-long crackdown on illegal residents, resulting in the arrest of over 15,000 individuals who violated the kingdom's residency, labor, and border security laws.
The operation, conducted from September 14 to 20, also led to the deportation of 10,482 individuals.
According to reports from the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the arrests were made across various regions of the kingdom and targeted different categories of violators. Among those apprehended, 9,538 individuals had violated the residency system, 3,694 were found to be in breach of border security regulations, and 1,822 had transgressed labor laws.
The Saudi Interior Ministry, in its weekly update, disclosed that a total of 43,763 illegal residents are currently undergoing legal procedures. Shockingly, this figure includes 7,378 women, indicating the breadth of the issue.
Additionally, 38,220 other violators have been referred to their respective diplomatic missions to acquire necessary travel documents before deportation. A further 1,722 individuals were directed to finalize travel reservations.
Notably, the crackdown has also extended to individuals who facilitate the illegal entry and sheltering of violators. During the same period, 11 individuals were apprehended for their involvement in transporting, sheltering, and employing illegal residents who violated the kingdom's residency, border, and work regulations.
Saudi Arabia has issued stern warnings to those who provide assistance to infiltrators, making it clear that they may face severe penalties. Offenders could potentially face a maximum prison sentence of 15 years, a fine of up to SR1 million, as well as the confiscation of the means of transport and accommodation. Furthermore, their identities will be publicly disclosed as a deterrent.
With a population of approximately 32.2 million people, Saudi Arabia has long been a destination for a substantial migrant workforce. In recent times, the country has implemented measures aimed at regulating and boosting its local labor market.
This latest high-profile nationwide campaign, aptly named "A Country Without a Violator," underscores the government's commitment to addressing the issue of irregular expatriates and ensuring the enforcement of its immigration, labor, and security laws.
The kingdom's determination to tackle this problem head-on reflects its dedication to upholding the rule of law and safeguarding the interests of its citizens and residents alike.