106,696 infiltrators apprehended in four months

March 18, 2013
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Almost 90,000 Yemenis were apprehended in four months as they were illegally crossing the borders into neighbouring Saudi Arabia, Saudi officials have said.

“We were able to hold 106,696 foreigners trying to infiltrate into Saudi Arabia in the last four months,” Mohammad Bin Saeed Al Ghamdi, the spokesperson for the border guard, said. “They were from different nationalities but Yemeni nationals made up the highest figure,” he said, quoted by Saudi daily Al Sharq.

Challenging economic conditions in their home country and the proximity of Yemeni and Saudi villages were the major reasons for the 89,182 Yemenis arrested as they were sneaking their way into Saudi Arabia, he said.

“Some villages on either side of the two countries are only a few metres apart,” he said.

Al Ghamdi said that some Saudi villagers added to the woes of the border guards by easing the infiltration of the Yemenis by protecting and transporting them in the desolate area.

“Several Saudis who either protected the illegal Yemenis or drove them were also arrested by the border patrols,” he said. “We are now using modern ways to catch those who infiltrate the borders, including special thermal cameras and radars, in addition to ambushes in mountainous areas,” he said.

According to the official, 17,276 Africans, lured by the promise of a better life in Saudi Arabia, were also arrested during the last four months as they attempted to cross the border.

Reports in the local media said that Saudis in the south have long complained about waves of Africans, mainly from Ethiopia, coming illegally into the country, often assisted by smugglers thriving in a lucrative underground activity.

Several Africans have recently been arrested for allegedly trying to steal from Saudi homes and shops, the reports said.

Saudi Arabia and Yemen share a 1,800-km border that has long been a sandstorm-hit dangerous place plagued by smugglers.

Saudis are mainly concerned about the smuggling of narcotics and weapons into their country.

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/saudi-arabia/106-696-infiltrators-apprehended-in-four-months-1.1159360

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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