Muscat: As many as 4,134 illegal immigrants were arrested in Oman during the first three months of this year, the Royal Oman Police (ROP) said.
The trespassers, who hail from a number of Asian and Arab countries, were rounded up in an ongoing crackdown that, of late, has been expanded to cover outlying farms — an increasingly favourite haven for illegal migrants.
The ROP on Friday urged citizens and expatriate residents not to employ or harbour any trespassers, warning they include elements that are into drug trafficking, robbery and theft.
As many as 4,518 trespassers rounded up during earlier crackdowns were also deported to their respective countries during the first quarter of this year, said Lt Col Abdul Karim Bin Murad Al Beloushi, a senior ROP official. Arrests and deportations are carried out in accordance with international charters and conventions, he added.
Meanwhile, an alleged “drug mule” who had ingested dozens of narcotics-filled ampules was arrested at Muscat International Airport on his arrival from an undisclosed Asian nation, the police said on Friday.
Police were tipped off about the passenger. He was seized as he disembarked a scheduled flight and was taken to the Police Hospital where an X-ray revealed that he had plastic bags in his abdomen. Eighty-five drug-filled ampules were later retrieved from the man, police said.
The arrest is the latest in a series to foil attempts by so-called “drug mules” to smuggle in drugs by ingestion, authorities said. In March, police announced the arrest of a man who had swallowed 102 capsules of a certain narcotic during a flight into Muscat. Earlier in February, another smuggler was nabbed with a record 134 heroin-filled capsules in his abdomen. The latest arrest takes to ten the total number of such arrests.