Saudi Arabia

Interior Ministry: Some Foreign Tourist Companies Encouraged Visit Visa Holders To Perform Hajj Illegally

Col. Talal Al-Shalhoub, security spokesman of the Ministry of Interior, said that some tourist companies from several friendly countries have deceived their visit visa holders by issuing visas not intended for Hajj and encouraged them to violate regulations by staying in Makkah two months before the Hajj season.

In an interview with Al-Arabiya Television, Col. Al-Shalhoub said that some individuals have been abusing visit visas and other visas that are not intended for Hajj. “The ministry has taken proactive measures to intensify media and awareness campaigns against performing Hajj without permits as well as to enforce stringent penalties on violators. A Hajj permit is not merely a transit card but a crucial tool that facilitates access to pilgrims and identifies their locations to provide necessary care and services promptly,” he said while emphasizing that the absence of a Hajj permit poses challenges with regard to offering services and healthcare for the violators.

Col. Al-Shalhoub confirmed the success of the 2024 Hajj season’s security plans. “These plans were implemented well in advance, following the directives of the wise leadership and under the continuous supervision of Minister of Interior and Chairman of the Supreme Hajj Committee Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif,” he said.

The spokesman emphasized that the success of these security measures is a testament to the coordinated efforts between various security, military, and government agencies. These efforts ensure that pilgrims can perform their rituals safely, peacefully, and comfortably.

He reported that 83 percent of the total mortalities during the Hajj season, which accounted for 1,079 out of 1,301, were those without a Hajj permit. He offered his condolences to the families of the deceased.

Col. Al-Shalhoub also noted that continuous updates have been made through the Public Security’s official social media accounts about apprehending those who promote fake Hajj campaigns and referring them to the Public Prosecution. He appreciated the strict measures taken by some friendly countries against these deceptive companies and the corrective actions they have implemented to prevent future violations.

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Saudi Gazette

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