Saudi mulls deportation of expatriate debtors

Saudi Arabia is considering the abolition of prison sentences against small expatriate debtors and replacing them with deportation in line with an agreement with creditors, a newspaper said on Monday.

The new system will cover foreigners who are involved in financial cases not exceeding SR50,000 (Dh49,500), Alwatan Arabic language daily said.

Instead of jailing them, courts will keep those debtors in detention until an agreement is reached with lenders to deport them to their home countries, the paper said, citing what it described as informed sources.

“The competent authorities are studying proposals to replace the current imprisonment system with deportation for expatriates involved in financial cases not exceeding SR50,000,” it said.

“Deportation will be carried out once an agreement is reached between the authorities and the creditors and the debtors involved are found unable to pay back…the new system will be applicable on those who do not have a police record or have not been involved in serious crimes such as drug dealing, smuggling of weapons or anti-state activity…it will be coupled with the enforcement of the electronic eye stamp system so those offenders will not be able to return to the Kingdom under a new name or passport.”

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