Saudi: 7 jailed, fined for illegally transporting pilgrims

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Seven people in Saudi Arabia were jailed and slapped with hefty fines for violating a ban on transporting pilgrims without Hajj permits as part of the Kingdom’s efforts to ensure the safety and security of the pilgrims during this year’s exceptional Hajj, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

They were caught by the security forces transporting 17 illegal pilgrims in three vehicles. Their vehicles were confiscated.

According to the SPA report, the punitive measures issued by the Saudi Directorate General of Passports included total fines of SR170,000 and prison terms of 105 days.

Among the offenders, there are two expatriates who will be deported from Saudi Arabia after facing the related penalties.

The offenders were also ordered to pay fines ranging from SR10,000 ($2,666) to SR40,000 apart from spending 15 days each in prison.

On July 19, Saudi Arabia barred people without permits from entering the holy sites under a strict security plan.

The restriction remains in place until the end of Sunday to ensure a safe “limited” Hajj amid coronavirus fears.

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