Saudi Arabia: Crackdown in the capital nets 41 illegal Ethiopians

Mishal Al-Otaibi

An illegal Ethiopian being arrested in Riyadh, Sunday. — SG photo

An illegal Ethiopian being arrested in Riyadh, Sunday. — SG photo

March 12, 2013, RIYADH (Saudi Gazette) — Within hours of launching its campaign against illegal aliens here Sunday, the capital’s Passports Department officials were able to apprehend 41 Ethiopian infiltrators.

Citizens and media personnel accompanying the officials witnessed the chase after the illegal workers tried to run away on spotting the Passports Department personnel.

The director of expatriate affairs section in Riyadh Passports Department said the officers focused on Al-Thimama Road due to the concentration of illegal workers in that area. Brig. Muhammad Al-Eneizi said all arrested illegal aliens will be deported once necessary procedures have been completed.

“We’ll continue our campaigns. Our undercover agents will monitor places where illegal workers frequent and we’ll raid these places immediately and nab all illegal workers,” he said urging citizens and expatriates to report the whereabouts of illegal workers by calling 992. He warned that anyone who transports, hires or provides shelter to such workers will be dealt with strictly according to the law.

Officers also raided the cattle and feed market at Al-Janadriya neighborhood in east Riyadh and arrested many illegal workers. Traffic officers blocked off the expressway to prevent them from running away in vehicles, while Passports Department officers cracked down and nabbed them in a matter of minutes.

An MBC Channel employee helped officers arrest an Ethiopian illegal worker after he interviewed him for Al-Thamina TV show on MBC. Another journalist chased after an Ethiopian and handed him over to the officials.

The Saudi driver convinced the Ethiopian worker and his friend that he could give them a ride outside the city before handing them over to the authorities. A citizen and his three sons also helped in the crackdown campaign and chased after five Ethiopians and handed them over to the officials.

Meanwhile, Asir Passports Department officials nabbed 275 illegal Yemeni workers, 209 Ethiopians, and 17 others who did not have residency permits. They were sent to the expat affairs section for fingerprints. All those arrested will be deported later.

Maj. Gen. Rizq Al-Husseini, Director of Passports Department in the region, reiterated the department’s commitment to continuing its campaigns to crack down on illegal workers. He urged the general public to report the presence of illegal workers by calling 992.

Saudi Gazette

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