Saudi Arabia clamps down on residency and labour law breaches

A total of 365 people were arrested while trying to enter the kingdom illegally

Police cars on patrol in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Naser Al Wasmi / The National

Saudi Arabia has arrested about 14,000 people this month for breaking laws on residency, labour and border security.

The arrests were made during joint campaigns carried out by various units of security forces and the General Directorate of Passports, the kingdom’s interior ministry said.

According to the interior ministry, 7,118 were arrested for breaking residency laws, 5,015 for flouting border security regulations and more than 1,576 people over the labour law.

A total of 365 people were also arrested while trying to cross the border into Saudi Arabia illegally.

The statement said 45 per cent of those arrested were Yemeni citizens while 53 per cent were Ethiopian and 2 per cent had other nationalities.

“The Ministry of Interior has warned that anyone who is caught facilitating anyone to enter the Kingdom in violation of the border security regulations, or provides him transportation or shelter or any assistance or service in any way, shall be awarded a maximum jail term of 15 years, a fine of up to one million Saudi riyals, and the confiscation of the means of transportation,” the ministry said.

One million Saudi riyals is about $266,000.

The ministry also said the property of anyone abetting people who broke border or labour laws could be confiscated, and that their names could be “publicised in the media”.

Updated: January 9th 2022, 2:38 PM