The Minister of Labour, Dr. Majed Al Alawi, who is also Chairman of the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA), said that a stiff penalty would be imposed on employers who had expatriates working for them illegally after January 2008. “These employers could be fined up to BD2,000 and six months imprisonment for hiring illegal workers,” Dr Alawi told the Tribune yesterday. LMRA Deputy CEO Ali Radhi said that employers would be charged BD1,000 for each illegal worker they hired. “If the matter went to court the fine would increase to BD2,000 and could include prison terms.” Dr Alawi also urged sponsors who have not supplied LMRA with their employees’ updated data to do so before the December 31 deadline. “Eighty per cent of employers have not supplied the LMRA with their workers data,” the minister said. “The visas of these companies’ current employees will not be renewed until they update their data. They will not be allowed even to apply for new visas.”