14 February 17
Saudi GazetteThe Ministry of Labor and Social Development's website has been out of service for the third consecutive week following a Shamoon 2 virus attack, Al-Madina daily reported on Monday.
The renewal and issuing of residence permits (iqamas) have been suspended because the Labor Ministry’s system is linked with the Abshir and Muqeem websites run by the Ministry of Interior.
Some of the residents who have not been able to have their iqamas issued or renewed are facing the specter of prison and deportation.
Their employers face imprisonment for up to a year and a fine of SR25,000-SR100,000.
Naif Al-Harbi, who is in charge of government relations at a contracting company, said they have been suffering for three weeks trying to renew their workers’ iqamas but to no avail.
“We have at least 35 expatriate employees with expired iqamas. The company will have to pay a fine of up to SR100,0000 because it is employing workers with expired iqamas,” he said.
Bassam Al-Yousef, who works as an expeditor, said he is facing a lot of difficulty in renewing iqamas.
Al-Madina daily tried to contact the Labor Ministry’s spokesman Khaled Aba Al-Khail several times but he did not respond.
The Communications and Information Technology Commission warned last month that Shamoon 2 might attack some important government websites and recommended all agencies to take maximum precautionary measures.