Close to 300 Pinoys detained in Saudi Arabia's western region
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — Close to 300 Filipinos are currently detained in the Western Region of Saudi Arabia over various charges, most of them involving illegal drugs.
Based on data from the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah, of the 289 Filipinos detained in the region as of June, 103 were due to drug trafficking and possession.
According to Consul General Imelda Panolong, most of the 103 Filipinos facing drug-related charges were arrested in various raids by Saudi government authorities.
Meanwhile, 51 of the 289 detained Filipinos are facing charges involving perceived immorality, including homosexuality, which is illegal in Saudi Arabia.
The other cases of detained Filipinos were public drunkennes (40), theft and robbery (37), and falsification of public documents and using assumed identity (10).
Panolong said the number of Filipinos arrested for using fake documents like diplomas and other scholastic records is increasing.
"Naghihigpit na ng husto ang mga otoridad. Sinisiguro nila na original at hindi peke ang mga dokumento ng mga professionals na nagtatrabaho dito at marami ang mga nahuhuli," she said.
Filipinos in Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, were saddened over the fact that some of their countrymen were detained there over various charges.
"Nakakalungkot po na makarinig ng mga ganyang balita," said Zharra Ramos, an OFW.
Jo Fria, another OFW, said Filipinos should strictly follow the law when in another country. She said OFWs should think of their families in the Philippines before committing infraction. —Ronaldo Concha/KBK, GMA News