Saudi police today arrested 11 Bangladeshi workers for gambling in the Kingdom’s Taif and recovered a sum of 21,388 Saudi Riyal from their possession.
The Bangladeshis were caught red-handed while they were gambling in a building in Television Street in Taif, the Saudi-based English daily Arab News reported quoting police.
The security patrol forces raided the site after receiving a tip-off and also recovered four knives at the spot, Dr Athe Al-Quraishi, police spokesperson for Makkah region, said.
He added that the alleged Bangladeshis were referred to the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution for further proceedings.
Contacted, Mokammal Hossain, labour counsellor at Bangladesh consulate in Jeddah, said they were informed the incident but they could not know detail identities of the arrestees immediately.
He, however, said if the Bangladeshis are found guilty of gambling, they have to face minimum six months to one year imprisonment and also pay SR 1000 to 2000 in fine.
Mokammal told The Daily Star over phone that the gambling is banned in Saudi Arabia and it is a criminal offence.
“We always request our people to refrain from committing crimes including gambling,” he said.
This unexpected incident has tarnished the image of all Bangladeshi workers, who were allowed to change work permits and professions last month, the labour counsellor said.
Meanwhile, Malaysian immigration police today picked up 46 more Bangladeshi workers from Penang province in an ongoing crackdown against illegal expatriates.
Some 642 Bangladeshis with the 46 have so far been held in the crackdown that began to streamline the Malaysian labour market on January 21.
The workers were detained as they did not have valid work permits or had overstayed their visas, and violated the immigration act, reported The Star, a Malaysian English daily, today.
Last week, Malaysian National News Agency Bernama reported that the police arrested 5,508 illegal immigrants and 59 employers of different nationalities.