As many as 1,616 expatriate Malayalis have returned from Saudi Arabia through the Karipur airport since that country introduced its new labour laws, said NoRKA officials here on Tuesday. As many as 1,065 of them were from Malappuram district, they said.

The figures were based on registrations made at the NoRKA helpdesk at the airport as well as its offices in Malappuram and Kozhikode. The returnees were aged between 22 and 55 years.

NoRKA coordinator Imbichi Koya said those below age 30 said they were not willing to go back to Saudi Arabia.

Almost all the returnees had been engaged in sales and other labour jobs such as cleaning. The number of returnees from other districts was 306 from Kozhikode, 115 from Kannur, 36 from Wayanad, 74 from Palakkad, 13 from Kasaragod, four from Thrissur, one from Kottayam, and two from Alappuzha.

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