Saudi Arabia deports over 385,000 illegal expats in nine months

Pedro Gonçalves
Saudi Arabia deports over 385,000 illegal expats in nine months

More that 385,000 illegal expats have been deported from Saudi Arabia in the last nine months, according to statistics released by supporters of the Nation Free of Illegal Expats campaign.

The crackdown was launched in November last year and has so far detained over 1.5 million expats who were in violation of residency, labour and border security laws.

As part of the nationwide campaign, in which 19 ministries and government departments are participating, 385,499 of the detainees were deported to their respective home countries.

Over two thousand people were accused of providing accommodation and transport to a number of illegal expatriates.

They included 489 Saudis of whom 469 were interrogated, punished and released while the remaining 20 Saudis are still under custody and awaiting the completion of investigations.

A total of 12,203 illegal expatriates are currently being held in various detention centres in the country: 10,633 men and 1,570 women.

The report said 212,838 illegal expats were referred to their concerned embassies and consulates to issue them with travel documents while 261,872 are finalizing deportation procedures.

The country has made creating jobs for Saudis a key target as the government introduced several measures aimed at making it harder for expats to work in the Kingdom. A move that caused an 800,000 exodus, as reported by International Investment.

Official statistics from the Saudi Arabian government have highlighted that 234,000 expat workers lost their jobs in the private and public sectors during the first quarter of 2018.

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