Saudi clamp on illegals; many firms 'closed'
Riyadh, March 28, 2013
Several commercial establishments have been closed down in major Saudi cities following a crackdown on illegal workers and cover-up businesses by Labout Ministry officials, a report said.
Police have reportedly arrested a large number of expatriates for violating iqama and labour regulations, the Arab News report said quoting sources.
Many shops and firms in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam have been shut as they either did not have enough workers under their sponsorship or fear of punitive action, said the report.
It said cracksdown has triggered panic among expatriates, especially those who are not working for their sponsors.
Labor Minister Adel Fakeih had said said on Tuesday that the government would not tolerate any violation of the kingdom’s regulations and that tough action would be taken against violators.
The ministry classified nearly 250,000 small and medium enterprises in the Red category of the Nitaqat system yesterday after the deadline given to them to employ at least one Saudi in their firms expired.