Bahrain is the latest Gulf state to launch raids in a bid to remove illegal workers after a report suggested there were now 50,000 in the island state.

The Labour Ministry said foreigners without the proper paperwork would be deported.

It was working with the embassies of countries that traditionally supply workers to prevent their citizens from being exploited by groups that arrange visas.

Expatriates, particularly from southern Asia, make up a significant proportion of the country’s population of about 1.3m.

Indian Embassy labour and community welfare first secretary Ram Singh said there were problems with the system after labourers arrived in Bahrain.

“We have to look into how people become illegal here because noone can come illegally, you have to come with a visa,” he was quoted as saying by Gulf Daily News.

“We are trying to follow up this kind of problem with the help of the Labour Ministry.

“This is a problem for the sending country as well as the receiving country so we will be happy to provide any help the Labour Ministry asks us to provide.”

Bangladeshi Ambassador Mohammed Ali Akbar said many of those who were no longer in Bahrain legally had been exploited by third parties.

“I am of the view that illegal workers have become the victims of circumstances which has evolved through various factors related to manpower recruitment process,” he was quoted as saying.

“Major problem makers are unscrupulous mediators supported by imprudent senders and recruiters.

“However, the workers themselves are also responsible for their predicament owing to their ignorance and lack of understanding and cautiousness.”

Other Gulf states, particularly Saudi Arabia also have recently launched crackdowns on illegal workers.

Saudi Arabia’s six-month amnesty to allow millions of foreign workers to ensure their visas were correct ended on November 3.

Raids since then have netted about 16,000 alleged illegal residents, while police admitted an Ethiopian man died during a raid last week.

At least one other man also died and 66 were injured during a violent street protest against the raids in Riyadh on Saturday night.

source: arabianbusiness