Saudi Security Forces Detain Over 19,000 for Illegal Residency Violations

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RIYADH, Feb 25: Saudi security forces have cracked down on illegal residency in the country, detaining 19,431 individuals during inspection raids conducted across all regions. These detainees include violators of various laws, with the majority (11,897) found to have violated the Residency Law, followed by breaches of the Border Security Law (4,254) and the Labour Law (3,280). The security campaigns were carried out from February 15 to 21, 2024.

During these operations, 971 individuals were apprehended while attempting to illegally enter Saudi Arabia, with a significant portion coming from Yemen (39%) and Ethiopia (57%), while 4% belonged to other nationalities. Additionally, 36 individuals were caught trying to exit Saudi Arabia illegally, and 15 were arrested for aiding violators by transporting, harboring, or employing them.

Presently, 58,365 individuals are facing legal action for various violations, including 53,636 men and 4,729 women. The Ministry of Interior has intensified efforts to repatriate these violators, referring 50,839 individuals to their diplomatic missions for travel documents and 1,624 for travel reservations, with 9,566 already deported. The ministry has issued a stern warning against facilitating illegal activities, stressing severe penalties, including imprisonment, fines up to SR1 million, confiscation of vehicles and properties, and publicizing the violator’s name at their expense. They urge the public to report violations through designated hotlines.

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