Saudi Arabia’s massive crackdown: Over 14,670 detained in a week

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Saudi authorities arrest thousands in a sweeping crackdown on violations.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, April 21: Saudi Arabia has launched a comprehensive crackdown on residency, labor, and security violations, resulting in the arrest of over 14,670 individuals across the kingdom. The arrests, conducted between April 11 and 17, 2024, targeted various breaches in compliance with regulations.

During nationwide inspection campaigns, authorities identified and documented violations, including 9,479 related to residency, 3,763 concerning border security, and 1,430 associated with labor laws. Among those apprehended were 996 individuals attempting to illegally enter Saudi Arabia, with 33 percent being Yemenis, 64 percent Ethiopians, and 3 percent from other nationalities.

Furthermore, 73 individuals were arrested for attempting to leave the kingdom illegally, while six were detained for their involvement in transporting, sheltering, and employing violators of residency, work, and border security laws.

The Saudi Ministry of Interior disclosed that the ongoing crackdown involves 58,902 expatriates under investigation, including 4,351 women. Of these, 52,073 have been referred to their respective diplomatic missions to secure travel documents, 2,861 are arranging their travel bookings, and 8,766 have been deported.

Highlighting the severity of penalties for aiding illegal activities, the ministry underscored potential punishments of up to 15 years of imprisonment, fines up to SR1 million ($267,000), and the confiscation of vehicles or properties used in such crimes. Emphasizing the importance of public cooperation, the ministry urged individuals to report any related violations through designated hotlines across various regions.

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