Saudi authorities detain 19,000 in week-long crackdown on law violations

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Over a week, Saudi Arabia has detained upwards of 19,000 individuals for violations related to residency.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, May 12: In a week-long crackdown on residency-related violations, Saudi Arabia has detained over 19,000 individuals across all regions of the Kingdom. The operation, spearheaded by the country’s security forces, targeted violators involved in a range of infractions, including breaches of residency rules, border security violations, and labor law offenses.

According to the Ministry of Interior, a total of 11,987 individuals were found to have violated residency regulations, while 4,367 individuals were implicated in border security breaches. Additionally, around 2,696 individuals were apprehended for violating labor laws.

Security personnel successfully thwarted the illegal entry of 1,011 individuals into the Kingdom. The majority of those attempting illegal entry were Ethiopians (61%), followed by Yemenis (36%), and individuals from other nationalities (3%).

The crackdown also resulted in the arrest of 18 individuals accused of aiding violators by transporting, sheltering, or employing them illegally. Currently, a total of 56,597 violators, including 4,445 women, are undergoing legal proceedings.

In response to the crackdown, the Ministry of Interior has taken several actions. They have referred 47,582 individuals to their respective diplomatic missions for travel documents, arranged travel for 3,599 individuals, and deported 12,250 individuals.

Emphasizing the severity of penalties for individuals involved in facilitating or participating in illegal border crossings, the ministry stated that offenders could face up to 15 years in prison, fines of up to one million riyals, and the confiscation of vehicles and properties used in the commission of these crimes.

Categorizing these offenses as major crimes that impact public honor and integrity, the Ministry of Interior urged the public to report any suspected violations through designated emergency contacts across the Kingdom.

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