By Sarah Townsend
Following planned raids in the past week, the total number of illegal expats arrested in Madinah alone stands at 50,254
Saudi officials have arrested 4,165 illegal expats in Madinah, Tabuk and Jeddah in a series of raids over the past week.
It was reported on Wednesday that twelve hundred police officers had been deployed to arrest illegal workers in the west of the kingdom.
At the time, Maj. Gen. Abdul Aziz Al Sooli, director general of Makkah Police, was quoted as saying that the deportation of illegal workers is “vital for the country’s stability and prosperity”.
Arab News has now reported that, following planned raids in the past week, the total number of illegal expats arrested in Madinah alone stands at 50,254. The raids took place across a range of locations, including the market place, malls, streets and at police checkpoints.
Madinah police chief Major General Abdul Hadi Al Shahrani was quoted as saying the raids were carried out “with the cooperation of all other relevant government agencies involved in [upholding] the local regulations”.
Those arrested are being held in custody and will be deported after a formal inquiry to ascertain the extent of their offenses. The campaign, which launched last autumn, will continue to flush out all illegals from the region, Al Shahrani told the newspaper.
Could this crackdown be as a result of dwindling oil revenue?