Saudi Arabia’s tough stance on what it deems as illegal expats has seen more than 330,000 arrests of foreigners in the kingdom in the last 12 months.
According to official figures released last week, the Saudi authorities have so far deported 4,140 of the foreigners who got into the kingdom clandestinely following the end of an amnesty that allowed illegal expats to leave the kingdom without penalties.
The deportations took place between November 15 and January 2, according to the figures published by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) and local news outlets. The authorities also caught 178 people for trying to leave Saudi Arabia illegally during the same period.
Yemenis made up 75% of the 4,432 foreigners arrested for sneaking illegally into Saudi Arabia, Ethiopians make up 23% and other nationalities that were not specified are the remaining two per cent.
As reported, Saudi authorities have been launching campaigns to detain foreigners who are staying illegally in the kingdom, leading them to arrest 337,281 foreigners, including 198,231 who did not have valid residence permits and 99,980 who did not have valid work permit the SPA said.
Illegal expatriates were warned that they would have to pay fines ranging from 15,000 to 100,000 Saudi riyals if they failed to regularise their situation or leave the country within the 90-day amnesty period.