Nearly 25,000 illegal expatriates were arrested in Riyadh last year, according to a local Saudi newspaper.
Arab News reported that of the 24,945 men and women rounded up, 21,482 had committed residency permit violations, while 3,142 were vendors who had contravened municipal rules and licensing. Another 279 had violated labour permits.
“Most of those arrested were men and women staying in Asbalh and Manfouha neighbourhoods in central Riyadh,” said Colonel Fawaz bin Maiman, spokesman for Riyadh police, according to Arab News. The official said that the two neighbourhoods were locations where criminals and illegal residents normally stayed, the newspaper said.
“Many of the housing facilities in these areas are rundown or dilapidated and fit for people with criminal tendencies to live,” he said.