The Saudi Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution warned employers across the Kingdom against keeping passports of workers to force them into working, abuse or threaten them, describing this as “human trafficking”. Argaam reported.

Human traffickers will be punished with penalties of up to 15 years of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to SR 1 million, the Bureau said on its Twitter account.

Penalties will be increased in case human trafficking crimes are committed against women, children or people with special needs.

The Saudi Ministry of Labor and Social Development had earlier said employers who keep the passports, visas or medical certificates of their employees will be fined SAR 2,000.

A fine of up to SAR 25,000 was imposed on companies violating safety and health standards.

In case a violation is repeated, stricter penalties will be imposed. Convicted employers are granted one month to end the violation.

Source: Saudi Expat News