RIYADH: Saudi authorities arrested more than 16,000 people in one week for breaching residency, work and border security regulations, according to an official report.
From Jan. 26 to Feb. 1, a total of 9,343 people were arrested for violations of residency rules, while 4,107 were held over illegal border crossing attempts, and a further 2,838 for labor-related issues.
The report showed that among the 488 people arrested for trying to enter the Kingdom illegally, 63 percent were Yemeni, 30 percent Ethiopian, and 7 percent were of other nationalities.
A further 17 people were caught trying to cross into neighboring countries, and 19 were held for involvement in transporting and harboring violators.
The Saudi Ministry of Interior said that anyone found to be aiding illegal entry to the Kingdom, including transporting and providing shelter, could face imprisonment for a maximum of 15 years, a fine of up to SR1 million ($260,000), or confiscation of vehicles and property.
Suspected violations can be reported on the toll-free number 911 in the Makkah and Riyadh regions, and 999 or 996 in other regions of the Kingdom.