Omani police have recently arrested another 158 illegal immigrants, mostly from neighboring countries, the Oman Times reported Wednesday, August 15. The police said the immigrants were caught in different areas of Oman over the past weeks after tip-offs from local people.
Those arrested included 114 Pakistanis, 20 Iranians, 16 Afghans, two Bangladeshis, two Somalis, two Yemenis, one Iraqi and one Kazakh national, the police said, urging citizens to continue to report illegal immigrants.
Oman has extended until October an amnesty allowing over-stayers to come forward and leave the sultanate without paying hefty fines. More than 12,000 illegal expatriate workers have so far taken advantage of the initiative.
The latest amnesty comes amid a government campaign to employ Omanis and cut reliance on imported labor. A target date of 2003 has been set to have all government posts filled by Omanis. According to official figures, a quarter of the sultanate's population of two million are foreigners. ― (AFP, Muscat)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )