June 23, 2024

Saudi Arabia threatens pilgrims with severe penalties over visa violations

The Saudi Arabian authorities have warned all pilgrims participating in this year’s Hajj against using invalid Hajj visa to enter the country.

In the warning issued by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, the Saudi Arabian Kingdom threatened to invoke severe penalties against any pilgrim or group found to have entered the country illegally.

The ministry of Interior stipulated a penalty of deportation and fine of 10,000 SR on anyone caught performing Hajj without the authorized Hajj permit.

The warning was contained in a letter received by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, through the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Abuja, disclosing the stand of the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars on the matter.

The Council, according to a statement released on Tuesday by the NAHCON’s Assistant Director of Public Affairs, Hajia Fatima Sanda Usara, issued a Fatwa (a legal ruling given by recognized religious authority) to the Muslim Ummah emphasizing the prohibition of performing Hajj without a permit.

“The Council in its Fatwa, urged pilgrims to adhere to rules and regulations, aimed at enabling Muslims to perform the Hajj in safety and tranquility,” the letter to the commission reads in part.

Usara, however, recalled that NAHCON had issued several warnings in the past against Nigerians falling into the bait of scammers making so many job offers for the pilgrimage season.

Similarly, the Saudi Ministry of Interior similarly advised persons against “becoming victims of the several fictitious companies and fake accounts on social media who claim to be agents/ authorities to facilitate Hajj using Umrah, tourism, work, family visit and other types of Visa at attractive rates.”

Assistant Director in charge of Tour Operators Unit, Ahmad Shira, has since shared contents of the message to all licensed Hajj and Umrah operators from the public and private sectors

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