Over 500 Ghanaians illegally staying in Saudi Arabia to be sent home

Would-be pilgrims boarding their maiden flights from the Tamale Airport to Saudi in 201[/caption] More than 500 Ghanaians living in Saudi Arabia without the necessary residency and work permits have been processed to leave that country under a general amnesty to exit the gulf country. Saudi Arabia in March offered a 90-day amnesty to undocumented overseas workers and other foreigners who wish to return to their countries of origin as part of its ” “A Nation Without Illegal Expatriates” campaign. Illegal foreigners who fail to take advantage of the amnesty risk not only deportation but fines ranging between SR15,000 ($4,000) and SR100,000. A statement dated May 22 and issued by Ghana’s Embassy in Saudi Arabia said the Embassy in Riyadh and the consulate in Jeddah are still processing travel documents for Ghanaians who want to take advantage of the amnesty at a subsidized cost of SR50 as against SR200. The Embassy said it has made the necessary arrangements to help secure air traveling tickets at a discount for groups of more than 20 people. It consequently asked all Ghanaians in Saudi Arabia without the proper documentations take advantage of the amnesty to enable them leave that country “peacefully”. “Any Ghanaian illegal resident who fails to take advantage of this General Amnesty program should be ready to face any penalty or consequences thereof as a result of their actions or inactions,” the Embassy warned. “Both the Embassy and the Consulate should not be blamed for any unforeseen occurrences after the expiration of the General Amnesty program given that the Mission does not have any more resources to troubleshoot self-inflicted consular problems,” it added. Meanwhile the Embassy has cautioned Ghanaians in Saudi Arabia, especially ladies who have made plans or are thinking of traveling to the that country or any of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states for greener pastures to be extremely mindful of the unfavorable working conditions for foreign unskilled workers such as house maids and other labourers. It described as regrettable, that Ghanaian agents and their foreign counterparts “mislead prospective Ghanaian workers” by promising them “non-existent juicy offers which turn out to be a hell for most of these workers”. It said the Embassy is overwhelmed with cases of Ghanaian domestic workers who have fallen victims of such unfortunate pranks and misrepresentation of these agents. “And it is against this background that the Embassy in the strongest possible terms warns the youth of Ghana to desist from making any plans of traveling to the GCC states to work as unskilled workers,” it said.

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By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana]]>