Seven Indian workers have been deported from Saudi Arabia for visa violation, reports said on Sunday.
Some of them violated visa regulations intentionally, while the rest were cheated by their sponsors. They were deported after being released from the Abha detention centre in Asir province on Thursday, Arab News reported.
Four of them flew home on Friday morning.
Of a total of 22 Indians in the Abha detention centre, only seven were eligible to return home, said Indian social worker Ashraf Kutichal.
The Abha chapter of the Overseas Indian Cultural Congress paid 1,000 Saudi riyals ($265) each for the release of the expatriates as penalty for not being in possession of a valid “Iqama,” a residency permit for expatriates in Saudi Arabia.
Ashraf said the remaining 15 face various charges and would not be allowed to leave the country.
“We are very happy going back home. We faced a lot of difficulties...It was very cold inside the deportation centre,” one of the workers said.
Mohammed Shamsuddin from Andhra Pradesh said: “I was going to the labour court to show my passport which I finally received from my sponsor but without an exit stamp. I was suddenly apprehended by the security patrols who brought me to the deportation centre where I have spent 55 days.”
Arshad Khan from Gurgaon, Haryana, said he paid 2,000 Saudi riyals ($ 533) to his sponsor so that he could return to India but still ended up at the deportation centre.