Saudi Arabia turns over OFWs arrested in Halloween party raid

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

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Saudi Arabia turns over OFWs arrested in Halloween party raid
The 19 overseas Filipino workers, all females, were turned over to Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Adnan Alonto, says the Department of Foreign Affairs

MANILA, Philippines – Saudi Arabia has turned over to the Philippine ambassador the 19 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) arrested during a Halloween party in Riyadh, said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

The 19 OFWs “were turned over to the custody of Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Adnan Alonto at 1:20 pm Riyadh time (6:20 pm in Manila)” on Wednesday, October 31.

Saudi Arabia agreed to temporarily release them, the DFA said. 

The OFWs, all females, were arrested in a Halloween party in a Riyadh private compound on October 26. They were among a number of Saudis and foreign nationals nabbed in the Halloween party, according to the DFA. 

Alonto earlier said the decision to temporarily release the OFWs “was made possible because of the strong representations made by the Embassy with Saudi authorities.”

Alonto added that “authorities may file charges against the Filipinos for violating Shari’a law, which prohibits interaction especially in public among unattached men and women.”

The DFA said Saudi operatives raided the compound “after neighbors complained of loud noise from the party.”

The DFA reminded OFWs, particularly those in the Middle East, “to respect the laws and traditions of their host countries.” –

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Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email