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Wed 27 Aug 2014 10:30 AM

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Saudi Arabia arrests 22,000 illegals a month: report

The kingdom is continuing its crackdown on illegal migrants, with another 250,000 stopped at the border, according to a report

Saudi Arabia arrests 22,000 illegals a month: report
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Saudi Arabia has said it has detained an average of 22,000 illegal migrants each of the past six months.

Another 250,000 people without proper documentation were stopped at the border, Arabic daily Al Madinah reported.

The crackdown follows a seven-month amnesty on illegal workers in the country, held between April and November last year, which saw 1 million people leave the kingdom.

A police official was quoted as saying the recent arrests were for offenses such as overstaying visas, running away from sponsors and looking for employment.

More than 600,000 illegal residents have been deported so far this year, according to government figures.

At least another 13,000 migrants are being held at detention centres across the kingdom.

Residents without valid visas face a SR15,000 ($4,000) fine, one month in jail and deportation.

The penalties increase for each subsequent conviction.

Saudis and expats who assist illegal immigrants also face a SR15,000 fine, with jail terms for multiple convictions.