India on Thursday warned its citizens in Saudi Arabia against getting misled and exploited by illegal agents and touts who are promising exit permits at a price.
"It has come to the notice of the Embassy that touts and illegal agents are trying to mislead and exploit Indian
nationals by offering them to get them exit from Tarheels (deportation centres).
"The authorities of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have made it clear that there is no fee for obtaining EXIT and the services at the Tarheels are free during the grace period," a statement issued by the Indian Embassy said.
Anyone demanding or paying any money to obtain exit is violating the rules and regulations of the Kingdom and are likely to face penal action, it said.
The statement added that some touts and illegal agents are misleading the applicants by issuing them with numbers claiming these numbers to be EXIT numbers.
Many people who obtained such EXIT numbers through touts and illegal agents have since been returned from Airports.
These touts and illegal agents as also those who obtained EXIT numbers through them are likely to face penal action under forgery which includes jail sentence and ban on return to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it said.
Under the country's 'Nitaqat' law, it is mandatory for local companies to hire one Saudi national for every 10 migrant workers.
As a result, a number of people from foreign countries who were working without valid work permits and runaways have come under the scanner.
Saudi Arabia has completed regularisation of nearly four million foreign workers in the last four months as part of its 'Nitaqat' programme, with 1.18 million expats choosing to change their profession.
Once the grace period for such workers to leave the country ends on November 4, all expatriates found in Saudi Arabia without valid papers will be jailed and heavily penalised.
Under the Saudi law, an expat here needs a Exit permit to leave the country.