Riyadh raids net more illegal workers

A police officer checks the papers of a foreign worker in Riyadh.

A police officer checks the papers of a foreign worker in Riyadh.

Riyadh police arrested 247 illegal workers on Tuesday in the Malaqa and Manfouha districts in the capital.

Acting on the orders of Riyadh Gov. Prince Turki bin Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, security officers arrested the workers in the two districts located in the north and south of the capital. According to an official, most of the workers in Manfouha were from Ethiopia, and the majority in Malaqa were from Yemen.

“Most of these expatriates were working as truck drivers, construction workers, taxi drivers and vendors. Others were freelancing in various other jobs,” the official said.

He said most of the pavement hawkers were illegal workers, who were also engaged in hiring out domestic workers to make extra money. The majority of those arrested were runaway workers whose residency permits had expired.

The Ministry of Interior had earlier advised illegal expatriates in the Kingdom to correct their status following the end of the amnesty period on Nov. 1, 2013 or leave the country.

The official said those arrested would be investigated and subject to fines and repatriation. Riyadh police in cooperation with the other wings of the security forces carried out the operations.

Meanwhile, the police in the Asir region arrested 109 illegal workers in two districts including Al-Namas. Abdullah Al-Hathan, police spokesman in Asir, said the crackdown was executed over the past two days. “It will continue in all parts of the region until the area is cleared of illegal expatriates,” he said.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, attracts millions of people from Asia and the Arab world, who find work as laborers, drivers, porters and housemaids. Expatriates account for around 9 million of the country’s 27 million population.

 
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