Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—Abdullah Nassar, a media spokesman for the security committee formed in Saudi Arabia’s Asir province, revealed that security authorities in the region have arrested around 10,000 people entering the country illegally—the majority of whom are Africans and Yemenis—within the last 3 weeks. The committee released the relevant statistics yesterday.
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat via telephone yesterday, Nassar said, “Regular security operations in general, and especially those since the start of March, have resulted in the arrest of more than 10,000 individuals violating various laws, but the figures released yesterday are confined to intruders who tried to enter the country illegally.”
The operations carried out by the security forces in Asir province have coincided with similar efforts in other provinces. Saudi monitoring centers and investigation departments have been tasked with administering the violators and verifying their security records, after which they are deported back to the countries through which they tried to enter Saudi Arabia, based on international border legislation. Nassar remarked that the most common cases are those violating residency laws, smugglers, and drug dealers.
Asir province’s security committee was formed in early March, to complement the relevant department of the Saudi ministry of interior, as the Kingdom seeks to tackle the problem of illegal immigration in the south.