Saudi Arabia: 4 arrested for transporting illegal migrants in Mecca ahead of Hajj

Abu Dhabi: Mecca police have arrested four Sudanese (three residents and an illegal) for transporting infiltrators, police said.

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The suspects, in their 30s and 40s, were remanded in custody pending moving to the Public Prosecution for further questioning and trial, police added.

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Saudi authorities have urged citizens and expatriates to report illegal migrants and have warned them of tough penalties if they are found to be assisting them.

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Transporting, employing, smuggling or covering up infiltrators is an offence punishable by two years in prison and a fine of SR100,000, a spokesperson for the Saudi Interior Ministry said.

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“The penalty also includes deportation of the violator if he is an expatriate. He will be named and shamed,” he said.

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Vehicles used in transporting illegals will be confiscated after a court ruling, the official said.

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“Anyone seeing a crowd of violators of residence, labour and border systems should immediately inform security personnel, who will confront those violators,” he added.

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The warning came as pilgrims began arriving in Mecca on Saturday to start their Hajj rituals.

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Authorities are working to ensure no trespassers can get into the Grand Mosque or the other holy sites.

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All entry points are secured with police cars and police officers. Even locations far from main streets and residential areas such as valleys and deserted mountains and other sites are secured. Thermal cameras and surveillance cameras have been located in all the holy sites as well.

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