By Innovation-sa on November 22, 2017 in News

With the end of an eight-month long amnesty in Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Interior launched a massive anti-illegal residency campaign starting from November 15, 2017. About 7,500 illegal residents and violators of labor laws were arrested by the Saudi security forces on the first day of the operation.

Earlier this year, as part of “Nation without a Violator” campaign, the Ministry of Interior announced a three-month grace period for all violators of residence and labor laws from March 29 onwards during which they could leave the Kingdom without any penalties. However, the grace period was extended several times on the request of some embassies and finally ended on November 14, 2017.

Interior Ministry spokesman, Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki said the new campaign targeted on both expats without residence permits (Iqama) and those with expired residency documents. It also warned Saudis and legal residents of strict punitive measures if found hiring, sheltering, transporting, operating or supporting illegal residents, labor law violators, and border security violators.

Al-Turki added that the campaign targets violators of labor and residency laws equally without any distinction between Saudis and expatriates.

Security forces and as many as 19 government agencies are on an intense mission to crack down all violators who are still in the Kingdom after the end of the grace period. Khalid Aba Al-Khail, Ministry of Labor and Social Development spokesperson explained the campaign to be a national task that would contribute many positives to the Kingdom.

Lt. Col. Talal Al-Shalhoub, representing public security asked the citizens to cooperate with security authorities in reporting violators by calling 911 in Makkah and 999 in other parts of the Kingdom.

Border Guards spokesperson Col. Sahir Al-Harbi claimed turning down more than 21,000 illegal entry attempts to the Kingdom and 872 residency violators from leaving the Kingdom illegally.