Fingerprinting nets 200 criminals in Makkah region


Many of those arrested had absconded from their sponsors after robbing them, and were trying to return to their home countries. Having arrested them, the Passport Department checked individual cases prior to deportation. All the overstayers were made to provide fingerprints, which revealed that many of them were wanted for various criminal offences.

Col. Hussein Al-Harthy, head of the Expatriates Department in Jeddah, said that the department is getting ready to implement a new system that will scan people’s eyes. “This system, when applied in addition to the fingerprinting system, will help identify a large number of wanted people. Many criminals are being arrested through the continuous efforts of the Passport Department and all those working in the fingerprinting department,” he said.

“Most of those arrested were wanted by police all over the Kingdom. When the fingerprinting system was introduced and detainees at the Expatriates Department were examined, we found that many criminals were trying to escape by being deported,” said Al-Harthy.

“From now on everyone arrested will go through this system,” he said, adding, “We have benefited a lot from the fingerprinting system and arrested wanted people and overstaying Umrah and Haj pilgrims.”

Al-Harthy warned people against dealing with overstayers or harboring them and called for reporting them to the authorities. “With the public help, the job of the Passport Department has been made easier and we are being able to stamp out people illegally living in the Kingdom,” he said.

An electronic fingerprinting facility along with several other advanced techniques to track down violators of visa regulations was opened by the Passport Department in Makkah in February. Speaking then, Director of Makkah’s Passport Department Col. Aed Al-Luqmani had said that all expatriates involved in violations of visa regulations would be subjected to fingerprinting.

“The department is keen on improving the quality of the services offered to detainees at the center. Work is under way to provide excellent service at the center so that inmates do not feel that they are in a jail. The only difference is that they do not have the freedom to go out,” Al-Luqmani said.


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