Crackdown in the Kingdom: Saudi Interior Ministry Apprehends Thousands in Sweep

In a decisive move to uphold residency, labor, and border security regulations, the Ministry of Interior in Saudi Arabia conducted a series of intensive campaigns across the nation from April 4 to 10, 2024. The result? The apprehension of a staggering 20,667 individuals found in violation.

Of these, a significant portion—14,805—were caught for residency violations, while 3,860 were nabbed for breaching border security, and 2,002 for flouting labor laws.

During the operations, authorities intercepted 959 individuals attempting illegal entry into the Kingdom. An analysis of these apprehensions reveals a majority from Yemen (44%) and Ethiopia (53%), with the remainder hailing from various other nationalities. Moreover, 58 individuals were arrested for illicit attempts to exit the country.

But the crackdown didn’t stop there. Nine individuals implicated in aiding violators of residency and labor laws faced arrest, underscoring the severity of the government’s stance on facilitating illegal activities. This move impacted over 63,000 expatriates, signaling the Kingdom’s firm stance on regulation compliance.

In the aftermath, 54,732 violators were referred to their respective diplomatic missions for travel document arrangements, while 2,828 were directed to finalize their travel bookings. Additionally, 6,271 individuals faced deportation as a consequence of their transgressions.

The Ministry of Interior issued a stark warning, highlighting the grave consequences of aiding illegal entry or stay, which can result in imprisonment for up to 15 years and fines reaching SR1 million. Such acts are deemed major offenses and are met with stringent legal repercussions.

Furthermore, the ministry urged the public to report any related violations promptly. Citizens were encouraged to utilize emergency numbers—911 in the Makkah, Riyadh, and Eastern regions, and 999 or 996 elsewhere in the Kingdom—to aid in maintaining the integrity of the nation’s security protocols.

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