Raids Intensified: End of the Road for Illegals

2015-0312 Raids Intensified End of the Road for Illegals

ALERT: Officials check IDs of workers at an eatery in Tabuk. (SPA)

A total of 1,200 police officers have been deployed in the Western Region to arrest illegal workers, a senior police officer said on Tuesday.

More officers would be deployed if necessary, said Maj. Gen. Abdul Aziz Al-Sooli, director general of Makkah Police, at a press conference.

Al-Sooli said the police department has information about places to inspect. Officers would conduct more than one raid at a specific location. There would be multiple visits within the space of hours and days, he said.

He urged the public to cooperate with the police, and use the 989 toll free number to provide information on illegal workers in the country. He said the deportation of illegal workers was vital for the country’s stability and prosperity.

“If you follow the principles of your religion by paying Zakat, giving charity, and praying, you are also obliged to protect the nation from violators who are affecting the way it functions. The security forces consist of your brothers, cousins and neighbors and you have to cooperate with them.”

Al-Sooli said there are many operations planned for Jeddah because it is a business hub and the gateway to the two holy mosques. “We will deport illegal expatriates and also not spare their employers whether big, small, beggar or businessman.”

There would also be penalties for property owners that rent homes to violators. “We will check rent agreements gradually,” he said. Police officers are conducting inspections at entry and exit points in the city, and at schools.

Al-Sooli said the second phase of the crackdown on illegal workers, which began on Sunday, would focus on ensuring that expatriates are in jobs matching those stated on their residence permits.

He said the crackdown on illegal workers over the past few months has resulted in a 14 percent drop in the crime rate. The police are currently working with Saudi Arabian Airlines and embassies to organize travel documents and plan deportation procedures, he said.

Al-Sooli said that most of the people arrested previously were from Yemen and Pakistan. In reply to a question, he said that the police would arrest those Burmese nationals who have no identity documents. They would be treated like other illegal expatriates, he said.


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