Metro 562 Nigerians Arrested in Saudi Arabia's Crackdown on Illegal Immigrants

According to the Nigerian Consulate in Jeddah, 526 Nigerians have been arrested since the three-month amnesty given to undocumented immigrants to regularize their stay ended.

Nigeria’s Consul General in Jeddah, Ambassador Ahmed Umar, also said that the Nigerian consulate has issued Emergency Travel Certificates (ETC) to 45 Nigerians in Saudi Arabia to return home after the Saudi authorities began a clampdown on illegal immigrants three weeks ago.

Umar dismissed reports that Nigerians detained in the country were kept in inhuman conditions at detention centres.

According to him, some of the detained Nigerians are being kept at the general services centre in Al-Shumaisi near Mecca, equipped with modern facilities.

"It is not peculiar to Nigerians; it is applicable to all nationalities".

"We have been talking to our people and organizing town hall meetings on the need for our people to come forward and regularize their papers or leave the country.

"But our people became very adamant and complacent,’’ the ambassador said.

Umar also said that he had deployed some staff of the Nigeria consulate to the center to identify Nigerians, collect their bio-data and issue travel documents for their deportation.

The ambassador further appealed to Nigerians living in Saudi Arabia without proper documentation to approach the Nigerian embassy in Riyadh or its consulate in Jeddah for proper identification.(NAN)

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