Immigration inspectors have arrested 51 people working illegally in Abu Dhabi over the past 20 days. They were arrested when two teams from the Department of Naturalisation and Residency visited premises including cafes and tailors, WAM, the state news agency, reported yesterday. Many of those detained did not have the correct visas or were working for companies that were not their original sponsors.
The teams were following up reports from "special sources about infiltrators and violators taking jobs in suspicious workplaces", WAM said. One "infiltrator" was found to have entered the country on foot, but was not working. Those arrested have been referred to the Public Prosecution. The department is now looking for the employers who let them work illegally, said Maj Gen Nasser al Manhali, the deputy director general of the department.
Random inspections would continue across the UAE to clamp down on violations of residency laws, he added. Anyone who recruits, hires, harbours or encourages illegal immigrants will be prosecuted, he warned. He urged the owners of businesses and homes to make sure they only rented out space to tenants with a sound legal standing, "in view of the security, social and economic concerns that infiltrators pose to the country", WAM said.
Harbouring or hiring an illegal immigrant can bring two months in prison and a Dh100,000 (US$27,200) fine.
Hiring a foreigner who does not have sponsorship carries a Dh50,000 fine.