JEDDAH, 16 May 2006 — Police in Jeddah have arrested a gang of African overstayers who used a coffee shop in Al-Bawadi district as a front for an illegal gambling operation.
The gang used the shop as a pool hall. Police confiscated SR100,000 in yesterday’s raid which was carried out after they received a tip-off. When they entered the coffee shop, there was no immediate indication that anything illegal was going on.
“We had received very dependable information that an illegal operation was taking place there,” said an officer. “We weren’t ready to walk away.”
After searching the men, large amounts of money were found in their underwear. The amount came to more than SR100,000 in cash. Very expensive watches and mobiles were also confiscated at the scene.
“As you can see, they are diamond watches, which raises the question of how the men acquired them,” added the officer.
At first the men denied any wrongdoing and told police that the money was theirs but after interrogation and investigation, they confessed.
According to police the men also had fake local IDs and investigations are still under way as they are suspected of other crimes.
Yesterday in an after-midnight operation security forces raided a number of places in south Jeddah and apprehended 792 illegal aliens.
Police are investigating landlords for violations in providing housing to overstayers. Electricity was cut off to the houses which sheltered the illegals.