Dhaka, Bangladesh
KSA crackdown worries expats

KSA crackdown worries expats

432,562 held so far

News Report Illegal and unregistered workers including Bangladeshis in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are passing their days in uncertainty as the ME country has launched drives against them, sources said.According to sources said some 20 lakh Bangladesh are living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. According to Saudi Gazette as many as 432,562 expatriates have been arrested since the launch more than two months ago of a coordinated crackdown on expatriates living in the country in violation of labor and residency regulations, press reports said quoting officials. The crackdown, which is part of the Nation Without Illegal Expats campaign, began on November 15 with the participation of 19 ministries and government departments Campaign officials said a total of 98,286 of foreigners were deported to their respective countries. They said 276,415 people were arrested for breaching residency laws, 110,618 for labor laws and 45,529 for border security. As many as 6,080 people who tried to sneak into the Kingdom through its southern borders were nabbed and deported, the officials said, adding that 76 percent of the infiltrators were Yemenis, 22 percent Ethiopians and 2 percent of various nationalities. At least 360 people who tried to sneak out of the country illegally were also apprehended in the past two months. According to the officials, 12,099 expatriates are currently being held at various detention centers. They included 10,091 men and 2,008 women. About 66,000 expatriates have been referred to their diplomatic missions to be issued with travel documents while 71,539 have been completing their flight bookings to leave the Kingdom. Meanwhile, 890 people, including 138 Saudis, were arrested and charged with providing transport and shelter to illegal residents. Of the detained Saudis, 124 have been released after being penalized while 14 are still under investigation. Meanwhile, according to an official of the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment, with fresh 81,846 people finding jobs in January 2018, a total of 51, 98,914 male and female Bangladeshi workers have been able to fetch overseas employment from 2009 to 2017, The official said the government has taken a realistic plan to exploit the potentials of a booming overseas Bangladesh manpower market, which has been declared as a thrust sector. He said Bangladesh sent 24,51,093 workers with overseas jobs from January 2009 to December 2013. The dispatch of overseas Bangladeshi workers witnessed a phenomenal growth with the figure reaching 27,47,821 from January 2014 to December 2017, the official added. Earlier, Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Nurul Islam BSc said that the government is expecting overseas employment for 11 lakh more job seekers this year as against 10 lakh in the last year. He said the present government has sent workers to 165 countries as a result of its successful labour diplomacy under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. "Efforts are underway to explore new labour markets all over the globe and the government has set up technical training centres at district headquarters to produce skilled and semi-skilled workers," Islam said. Talking to the news agency, Director General of Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET) Selim Reza said some 98,075 workers went abroad with employment till February 7 this year. Meanwhile, Bangladesh wants to send more skilled and semi-skilled manpower to Saudi Arabia in different sectors Bangladesh is exploring possibilities to find jobs for skilled people in many potential sectors in Saudi Arabia and wants to be the development partner of the Kingdom's vision 2030. Bangladesh Ambassador to KSA Golam Moshi visited Arar city, the Northern Borders Province of Saudi Arabia, on Tuesday and had a 'fruitful discussion' to that end with the Governor Prince Faisal Bin Khalid Bin Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz, said the Bangladesh Embassy in Riyadh on Wednesday. During the meeting, the Governor highly praised the honesty and capability of Bangladesh workers who employed in the Northern Border Region province. He said Bangladeshi workers have been working with utmost sincerity and dignity in many different sectors in Saudi Arabia for a long time. Ambassador Moshi termed relations between the two countries as a time-tested and deep-rooted with common history, culture and religion. He said Bangladesh has taken a lot of initiatives to improve the manpower sector under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and sought support of the Kingdom for further recruitment of doctors, nurses, engineers and other high professionals from Bangladesh. Moshi mentioned that now Bangladesh is providing one month training to all workers on language, culture and basic skills before leaving the country which will be helpful for them to cope with a new environment and give their best service in Saudi Arabia. During the meeting, Economic Counselor of Bangladesh Embassy Dr Mohammed Abul Hasan was also present.

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