By Sarah Townsend
Employers of illegal workers and property owners that rent homes to them will also be targeted in the raids
Twelve hundred police officers have been deployed to arrest illegal workers in the west of Saudi Arabia, it was reported on Wednesday.
Raids are expected on several locations known to the police, and more officers will be deployed if necessary.
Arab News reported that Maj. Gen. Abdul Aziz Al Sooli, director general of Makkah Police, told a press conference that officers would conduct more than one raid at one particular location, with multiple operations planned across other parts of Jeddah within a few days.
The public have been urged to cooperate with the police by using the 989 toll-free number to provide information on illegal workers in the country, the newspaper reported.
The deportation of illegal workers, said Al Sooli, is vital for the country’s stability and prosperity.
“If you follow the principles of your religion by paying Zakat, giving charity, and praying, you are also obliged to protect the nation from violators who are affecting the way it functions,” he said.
“The security forces consist of your brothers, cousins and neighbours and you have to cooperate with them.”
Meanwhile, employers of illegal workers and property owners that rent homes to them will also be targeted in the raids, the newspaper reported. Police officers are conducting additional inspections at entry and exit points in the city, and at schools.
It quoted Al Sooli as claiming Saudi’s crackdown on illegal workers over the past few months has resulted in a 14 percent drop in the crime rate. Most of the people arrested so far were from Yemen and Pakistan, he said.