Saudi To Deport 1,500 Nigerian Illegal Immigrants


Garba Aminchi, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, says 1,500 Nigerians illegally residing in that country will be deported soon.

Aminchi, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Mecca on Sunday, said those affected were apprehended at various locations in Saudi Arabia.

He said some of them were caught engaging in criminal activities like stealing and robbery while others were apprehended for street begging or constituting a nuisance.

The envoy further disclosed that more than 20,000 Nigerian illegal immigrants were deported to Nigeria by the Saudi authorities in the last 12 months for similar offences.

Aminci said most of the criminal activities being perpetrated by Nigerians in Saudi Arabia included fraud, theft, robbery and prostitution.

He pointed out that the Nigerian Embassy in collaboration with Saudi security agencies had embarked on identifying those Nigerians illegally residing in the country with a view to deporting them.

On this year’s Lesser Hajj, Aminchi said the number of pilgrims from Nigeria had increased tremendously.

He said: “What we observed is a tremendous increase of Nigerians coming for Umrah which almost doubled what we normally see in the previous years.

“ One interesting thing we noticed is the behaviour of the pilgrims. Previously, there used to be chaos at the reception centres.

“ People did not know what to do, how they arrange themselves, how they pursue the immigration process and procedure.

“ But now, most of the Nigerians are enlightened. They know the procedures. They line up in an orderly manner and they will take their turn one after the other until the last pilgrim. ”

The ambassador further told NAN that more than 120,000 Nigerians would be performing this year’s pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia in the next two months.

He said that 100,000 of the prospective pilgrims would be coming in through the the Hajj commissions in states while the remaining 20,000 would be performing the pilgrimage through independent airline operators.

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