Muscat: A total of 526 expat workers were arrested in Oman in December, the Ministry of Manpower announced on Wednesday.
The expats, officials said, were arrested for violating labour laws.
According to the Ministry, 429 commercial workers, 59 agricultural workers and 38 housemaids were among those arrested.
"An inspection team from the Ministry of Manpower managed to arrest 526 workers in violation of the labour law and regulations between December 23 and December 29," the Ministry said. "After an investigation [it was found that] 228 of them were absconding workers and 246 were laid-off workers."
Muscat Governorate recorded the highest number of violations with 350 cases, followed by North Batinah with 66 cases.
Meanwhile, 291 illegal expats were deported during this period for violating the Residence and other ministerial laws.
Salim bin Saeed Al-Badi, Director General of Labour Welfare at the ministry, said, "These campaigns are part of a series of inspection campaigns carried out by the ministry in all governorates of the Sultanate with the aim of regulating the labour market and controlling workers operating in the country illegally."
Al Badi added, "The Joint Inspection Team works around the clock in tracing and controlling the expatriate migrant workforce through joint cooperation between the competent authorities to work side by side to achieve more results for the public good."
He stressed that all institutions and individuals are not allowed to hire illegal expat workforce and report about them. He also called on citizens and residents not to hesitate to submit an electronic complaint through the complaints and communications system, if they have any information that may be useful in controlling offenders and infiltrators.