Riyadh raids turn up 1,350 illegal expatriate arrests
Illegal residents wait in long lines for services to help them correct their residency statuses. [coastaldig]
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Police arrested 1,350 illegal residents, including 27 wanted suspects, in Riyadh’s city center upon instruction from Riyadh Governor Prince Khalid bin Bandar and Deputy Riyadh Governor Prince Turki bin Abdullah.
The crackdown on illegals, launched on Wednesday, was a continuation of police raids that were earlier conducted to arrest 750 residents in the Thulaimi and Amal districts.
The raid, which lasted for 24 hours, ending at dawn on Thursday, was conducted mainly in Rail Street, close to the Batha shopping center in the heart of the capital.
Those arrested included nationals from Yemen, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh who had forged documents, were involved in criminal cases or had run away from their sponsors.
The crackdown was directly supervised by Maj. Gen. Saud Bin Abdulaziz Al-Hilal, chief of the Riyadh Police, with the assistance Maj. Gen. Suleiman Al-Sudais, assistant director, and Col. Eid Al-Otaibi.
The Riyadh police conducted the raids in cooperation with the Criminal Investigations Department, Special Task Force (STF), Riyadh Traffic, Fraud Bureau of the Ministry of Commerce, Passports Department and the Saudi Red Crescent Authority.
One police official said that they had successfully arrested 6,500 illegal workers in earlier raids, including 150 fruit and vegetable vendors and Arab expat workers from Sudan and Egypt.
“Two stolen cars were also recovered during the operation,” the official said.
Prior to the raid, the police cordoned the area to facilitate inspection and stop suspects who may attempt to run away from the site.
Police recently arrested 2,360 illegal workers during a four-day raid. Those arrested in the Hai Al-Wazarah area were mainly Asians from countries such as Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Police also raided several shops and restaurants, where Egyptian, Indian, Sudanese and Pakistani workers were also apprehended.
Security authorities had warned residents during the amnesty to legalize their employment status before the end of the grace period.
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