India’s Foreign Ministry says Saudi Arabia will release 850 Indians from its prisons after a request from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to New Delhi.
Saudi jails hold the greatest number of Indians incarcerated in any country abroad. As of January 2019, 2,224 Indians were in prison in the kingdom for crimes including murder, kidnapping, bribery, and offences related to drugs and alcohol, according to Indian Foreign Ministry figures.
The approximately 2.7 million Indians in Saudi Arabia form the largest expatriate community in the kingdom, with many working in low-paid jobs in sectors such as construction, domestic services and retailing that Saudis spurn.
On Monday, Saudi Arabia ordered the release of about 2,100 Pakistani prisoners from its jails, according to Pakistan’s information minister.
On Sunday, Saudi Arabia signed investment agreements with Pakistan worth $20bn. In New Delhi on Wednesday, MBS said he expected investment opportunities worth more than $100bn in India over the next two years.