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21 illegal Indian immigrants arrested in Saudi

world Updated: Jul 01, 2014 22:28 IST
illegal immigrants

At least 21 Indians are among 282 expatriates arrested in Saudi Arabia as part of a major crackdown on illegal immigrants.

"Individuals who were arrested include expats who have been residing illegally in the Kingdom," said colonel Fawaz Al-Maiman, Riyadh police spokesman.

They include 134 Ethiopians, 76 Yemenis, 21 Indians, 21 Pakistanis, four Bangladeshis and 17 Sudanese, while other illegals immigrants were from Somalia and Syria and some new recruits, Arab News reported.

Operations covered remote farms, villages and courtyards in the outskirts of Riyadh. Police conducted operations for six consecutive days with aerial surveillance.

According to Al-Maiman, this was a field operation, where police had cordoned off agricultural fields with the help of security authorities to apprehend illegals.

The government had last year given an amnesty to all illegal workers to take corrective steps to legalise their residency status in the Kingdom.

The labour ministry warned illegal workers who overstay the amnesty period that they would be subject to a penalty of 100,000 Riyal ($26,666.67) and a two-year jail term.

At the time, expatriates without legal documentation who had been stuck here for years had benefited from the amnesty.

The world's top oil exporter has millions of expatriates whose remittances home provide important revenue for countries including Yemen, India, Pakistan and the Philippines.