Saudi Arabia to Check for Illegal Foreign Workers in Companies
Saudi authorities are to carry out spot checks on companies from August 30 to seek out illegal foreign workers, the interior ministry announced Saturday.
It warned that heavy penalties would be slapped on firms, which have failed to regularize the papers of their workers.
Saudi authorities have already imposed fines totaling almost 900,000 dollars on 27 people, including 13 Saudis, for employing workers with invalid residency papers, a newspaper reported on July 10th.
The workers involved were also fined, deported and banned from returning to the oil-rich kingdom.
More than 350,000 illegal workers have left Saudi Arabia since an April 20 amnesty exempting those with invalid residency permits from a hefty fine and possible imprisonment.
Saudi authorities had warned foreigners without valid residency permits and those employing them they would be liable to six months in jail, a 26,600-dollar fine and deportation after a deadline to legalize their status ran out on July 2nd.
The country launched a campaign against illegal immigrants in October 1997. About 1.5 million people, mostly from the Indian subcontinent, have since been expelled, according to official figures - RIYADH (AFP)
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