Cross-Posted from Arab News
Labor authorities, supported by police, have stepped up a major campaign to drive out illegal workers as well as those involved in cover-up businesses in different parts of the Kingdom. The move has triggered shock waves among expatriates, especially those who are not working for their sponsors.
Police have reportedly arrested a large number of expatriates for violating iqama and labor regulations during the past week, sources told Arab News.
Many shops and firms have been closed down in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam as they either did not have enough workers under their sponsorship or fear punitive action.
A ministry spokesman, however, described the raids as a routine measure.
Labor Minister Adel Fakeih said on Tuesday the government would not tolerate any violation of the Kingdom’s regulations and that tough action would be taken against violators.
“The Cabinet has identified the duties of the Interior and Labor ministries to track down illegal workers and businesses,” the minister said, adding that a royal decree has been issued to beef up labor inspections with police.
“We’ll intensify inspections in coordination with the Interior Ministry,” Fakeih said.
“The move is aimed at driving out illegal aliens and violators of iqama and labor laws,” he added.
The Labor Ministry has classified nearly 250,000 small and medium enterprises in the Red category of the Nitaqat system yesterday when the deadline given to them to employ at least one Saudi in their firms expired. Continue reading