Hundreds of illegal expatriates arrested

Inspection raids aimed at reducing the number of expatriates working illegally in Bahrain have netted 1,416 people in the first six months of this year.Nearly 6,000 inspection raids were conducted by the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) alone in the first half of 2010 which resulted in 329 employers being sanctioned for hiring expatriates without valid work visas.

The figures were announced in a statement yesterday by Younis Al Hermi, vice president of enforcement at the authority. 237 of the erring employers have been referred to the Public Prosecutor for further legal action, he added.

The authority conducted a total of 5,980 independent inspection raids between January and June this year during which they also found 905 expatriate workers violating LMRA regulations. 472 workers, over half the total number, were caught in June, according to the figures in the statement.

Al Hermi said that further 511 expatriates were found working without proper documents during joint inspections conducted by the LMRA in tandem with the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities from the Kingdom’s five governorates.

Seventy-six joint inspection raids were carried out by the concerned authorities during which 392 expatriates were taken into custody by police. The joint force visited locations in the various areas including the Capital, Muharraq, Northern and Central governorates, as well as other localities known to be frequented by vendor and expatriates who work illegally. During the joint raids, inspectors are accompanied by police personnel and target expatriates selling goods on the road.

Violators are then detained for conducting business in violation of LMRA, Municipalities and Immigration laws. The authorities have said they will repatriate illegal workers after completing the necessary legal procedures at the Public Prosecutor and General Directorate of Nationality, Passport and Residence.

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