Saudi authorities have imposed fines of almost 900,000 dollars on 27 people, 13 of them Saudi nationals, for employing workers with invalid residency papers, a newspaper said Monday.
The fines ranged from 2,000 rials (530 dollars) to 400,000 rials (106,600 dollars) and were the first handed out in a crackdown on employers of expatriates with no legal status in the kingdom after a 10-week amnesty, Al-Iqtissadiya said.
The nabbed workers were also fined, deported and forbidden to return to the oil-rich kingdom.
Furthermore, the authorities cancelled the commercial licenses of the Saudi nationals they fined, and banned them from resuming their businesses for periods of up to five years, the paper said.
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 ended on July 2.
Saudi Arabia began 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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