More than 126,000 illegal foreign workers have left the Kingdom so far, a month after the clampdown on labor law violators took effect on Nov. 4.
The Passport Department has been seeking the cooperation of the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) and Saudi Arabian Airlines, besides international and provincial airports in the country, to ensure that deportees travel from the nearest airports straight to their native countries, a source at the department said.
“More than 140,000 workers of various nationalities were arrested across towns and villages in the Kingdom, while 126,000 have already been sent back to their home countries,” the source said.
He said that the campaign would continue uninterrupted.
Abdul Baqi Al-Ajlan, Saudi ambassador to Ethiopia, recently said in a press statement that 65,000 Ethiopian labor law violators were repatriated. Al-Ajlan dismissed reports appearing in international media outlets that the Ethiopian government encountered difficulties in admitting returnees without official documents.
Police records showed a considerable drop in crime rates in the Kingdom last month.
Maj. Gen. Jamaan Al-Ghamdi, assistant director of Public Security, attributed the fall in crime rates last month to the crackdown on illegal workers. “Ethiopians top the list of murder cases, with 59 such crimes,” he said.
A report published by the Justice Ministry showed that the highest number of such crimes committed by Ethiopians was reported from Hail, with 22 cases, while Riyadh registered only six such offenses. The report also showed that 1,969 Ethiopian criminals were men and 338 were women.
Ethiopian workers instigated riots in some Saudi cities following the launch of the labor campaign, particularly after rioting in Manfouha, Riyadh, led to the death of a Sudanese worker.
In Jeddah, 75 ringleaders were arrested for provoking riots in which dozens of people, including Saudis, were injured and several cars were vandalized.
Ethiopian rioters wounded four people and damaged 14 cars on the Makkah-Jeddah expressway.
Ethiopians also staged a sit-in near the Al-Manour Bridge in Makkah, blocking traffic on major streets.