HAJJ 2016

Deportation, 10-year ban for undocumented Hajj pilgrims

Muslim pilgrims pray at Mount Al-Noor ahead of the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Makkah. (Reuters)

 

Expatriates trying to perform Hajj without permit will be deported and banned from entering Saudi Arabia for 10 years, the Department of Passports has warned.

“Anyone who is caught going to Makkah or the Holy Sites for Haj will be fingerprinted and turned back,” spokesman of the Jawazat Maj. Talal Al-Shalhoub said.

The account of illegal pilgrims in the computer of the Jawazat will be frozen and when they ask for any Jawazat service, they will be apprehended and deported.

The spokesman also said that the Saudis caught transporting illegal pilgrims will be fined SR10,000 for each pilgrim in addition to 15 days in prison the first time while expatriates will face the same punishment as well as deportation.

For repeat offense, the fine will be increased to up to SR50,000 for each illegal pilgrim, a prison term of six months and the confiscation of the vehicle, he said.

The spokesman said the committees which issue the punishment are semi-judicial bodies which are stationed at checkpoints along the roads leading to Makkah and the Holy Sites.

“The ad hoc committees will issue, attest and execute the punishment within 24 hours,” he said.

In mobile text messages, authorities informed citizens and expatriates that all pilgrims will be fingerprinted at the Jamrat exits to scrutinize those without permits.

Meanwhile, Emir of Makkah Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, who is the chairman of the Central Haj Committee, has lauded the role of security forces.

“We are extremely proud of you and what you are doing,” he added.

He made the statements while reviewing the Haj security plan during a meeting with Director of the General Security Gen. Osman Al-Muhrij.

Commander of the Special Security Forces of the Grand Mosque Maj. Gen. Ahmed Al-Ahmadi said the security of the Haram is a red line which nobody should dare to cross.
He said the security forces are stationed everywhere in the Grand Mosque to ensure the safety and security of worshippers.

The General Syndicate of Cars has terminated the contracts of 15 expatriate drivers and deported them to their respective countries for failing to pass drug test.

Secretary General of the syndicate Osama Mullah said there are 25,000 drivers, mechanics and electricians working for Haj transport companies. “They have all been tested against drugs,” he added.

Mullah said out of 24,000 vacancies for Saudi drivers, only 937 of them have been filled.

Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs Abdullatif Al-Asheikh, who toured his ministry’s projects in the Holy Sites on Tuesday, said all schemes related to Haj have been implemented.

He said 19,000 kilometers out of 25,000 km of roads linking Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah have been completed to ease the movement of pilgrims between the three Holy Sites.

This article first appeared in the Saudi Gazette on Sept. 08, 2016.

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Last Update: Thursday, 8 September 2016 KSA 09:44 - GMT 06:44
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Deportation, 10-year ban for undocumented Hajj pilgrims
In mobile text messages, authorities informed citizens and expatriates that all pilgrims will be fingerprinted at the Jamrat exits this year
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