195 illegal private taxi drivers held

January 08, 2013 - 2:25:43 am

DOHA: The law-enforcement agencies have rounded up as many as 195 illegal private taxi operators in separate swoops launched recently as part of their ongoing campaign targeting workers flouting the country’s laws.

Most of these arrests are believed to have been made in crackdowns near places like shopping malls, hypermarkets and the Doha International Airport, among others, where illegal cab operators generally hang out.

Some of those arrested were found to be runaway workers and it was discovered that their residency permits had expired. 

All of them were referred to the Public Prosecution in accordance with the law and legal action has been initiated against them after investigation and filing of charges.

The Search and Follow-Up Department of the Ministry of Interior launched a series of crackdowns on winter camps in different parts of the country as well, and its sleuths found to their surprise that a number of runaway workers were doing odd jobs for the campers.

A total of 64 runaway workers were arrested from these camps and turned over to the Prosecution for legal action. The Interior Ministry said action had also been initiated against the erring campers as well since they were employing these workers in breach of the law.

A number of runaway workers venture into camping areas during the winter season in search of odd jobs, Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported yesterday. The presence of illegal workers near the camps leads to untoward incidents like theft. “Illegal workers are a threat to social security,” QNA said.

The law prescribes prison terms of up to three years and a fine of up to QR50,000 ($13,700), or both, for runaway workers.

All of the 64 arrested workers have been referred by the Prosecution to a special, fast-track court which either orders immediate deportation of a runaway worker or, depending on the case, recommends change of sponsorship. 

In the various crackdowns launched in different parts of the country, 103 illegal street vendors have also been arrested and appropriate action has been taken against them.

Those arrested were caught selling various items, apparently including eatables, thus putting the lives of their customers at risk, for they were unlicensed and unreliable and it was not known how they sourced such products.


The Search and Follow-Up Department has said its crackdown against illegal workers, including those operating private taxis in breach of the law, will continue.
  No place will be spared and swoops will continue to be launched to comb out all kinds of illegal workers, whether they have escaped their sponsors and are living and working in the country illegally or those vending and operating cabs in violation of the law, the department said.