Nearly 3.16 million held for residency, labor, border violations across KSA

Immediate penalties were imposed against 461,749 offenders. (SPA)
Updated 20 May 2019
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Nearly 3.16 million held for residency, labor, border violations across KSA

  • The total number of violators being subjected to procedures is 12,741, including 11,103 men and 1,638 women

RIYADH: Nearly 3.16 million violators of residency, work and border security systems have been arrested in a year-long roundup, according to an official report.
Since the campaign began in November 2017, there have been 3,159,388 offenders, including 2,461,868 for violating residency regulations, 487,670 for labor violations and 209,850 for border violations, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
The report said that 53,042 people were arrested while trying to cross the border into the Kingdom, 49 percent of whom were Yemeni citizens, 48 percent were Ethiopians and 3 percent were of other nationalities.
2,249 people were arrested for trying to cross the border into neighboring countries and 3,823 were arrested for involvement in transporting and harboring those violators. 1,299 Saudi citizens were arrested for harboring the violators against local laws, of which 35 are being detained, pending the completion of procedures.
The total number of violators being subjected to procedures is 12,741, including 11,103 men and 1,638 women.
Immediate penalties were imposed against 461,749 offenders; 422,442 were transferred to their respective diplomatic missions to obtain travel documents; 534,278 were transferred to complete their travel reservations; and 793,014 were deported.


Saudi sources deny ‘unsubstantiated’ reports of permitting alcohol

Updated 16 June 2019
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Saudi sources deny ‘unsubstantiated’ reports of permitting alcohol

  • “The leadership has made it clear from day one; it is simply not happening,”SCTH source tells Arab News
  • The SCTH is responsible for licensing and rating hotels and restaurants

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has no plans to allow the sale or public consumption of alcohol, a senior government source has told Arab News.

The official with access to relevant decision-makers categorically denied “unsubstantiated” media reports in some international and regional news outlets.

“If you read the fake news, you will notice it is all based on hearsay and tweets by accounts known to have a questionable agenda when talking about the Kingdom,” he said.

“As the country moves forward with its reform plans, we expect much speculation and attempts by critics to hold us back. And while people are allowed to speculate and criticize, their speculation should not be treated as the truth.”

A second source at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) also denied such reports. “The leadership has made it clear from day one; it is simply not happening,” he told Arab News. “I have not heard of any plans to allow alcohol in major cities, free zones or new projects.”

The SCTH is responsible for licensing and rating hotels and restaurants. Any plans for the sale or consumption of alcohol would have to go through the commission for implementation. 

Saudi Arabia has witnessed substantial social reforms over the past three years, such as the curbing of the previously unchecked power of the religious police, reopening cinemas and allowing women to drive.

There has also been a major shift on previously prohibited public entertainment and gender mixing. International artists including Mariah Carey, Yanni, Andrea Bocelli, Enrique Iglesias and Black Eyed Peas have all performed.

Tourism projects have included pop-up versions of international restaurants such as Signor Sassi, Nusr-Et and Nobu. None has served alcohol.

“Officials have repeatedly said all changes were and will always be in line with Islamic teachings and traditions,” the senior source told Arab News.