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Nigeria Newspapers

NAHCON alerts pilgrims to fake Hajj permit agents, penalties for victims

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The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has warned Nigerians to be wary of authorized tour operators or travel agencies parading fake visas for the 2024 Hajj.

Besides, the commission reminded the pilgrims that falling prey to unauthorized tour operators with cloned Hajj permits will attract unforgivable but heavy penalties

NAHCON spokesperson Fatima Usara in a statement on Tuesday re-emphasized the stand and subsequent ‘strong’ warning issued by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah of the Kingdom of Saudi against participating in the Hajj without a valid Hajj visa.

“The Kingdom’s Ministry of Interior stipulated a penalty of deportation and fine of 10,000 SR on anyone caught performing Hajj without the authorized Hajj permit,” Usara said.

“In line with this, a similar message has been received by NAHCON through the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arab Abuja, disclosing the stand of the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars on the matter.

“The Council 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.”

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.

In the same letter received by NAHCON on May 22nd 2024, 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.”

The authorities maintained that an 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.

Meanwhile, a total number of 25,203 Nigerian pilgrims have been airlifted in 60 flight operations to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the last two weeks, NAHCON’s command operation stipulated.

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