Saudi Arabia: six months in prison for transporting pilgrims without Hajj permits
Dubai: Saudi Arabia’s Passport Authority has warned that anyone caught carrying pilgrims without a Hajj permit would face a six-month prison sentence and a fine of SR 50,000, reported local media.
The sanctions also include the publication of the names of the offenders in the local media and the confiscation of the vehicles used to transport the offenders to the Hajj. The penalties will be doubled if there is more than one pilgrim equipped with means of transport.
The passport authority said expats caught using a fake Hajj stamp without obtaining a legal permit will be deported and will not be allowed to return to the Kingdom for 10 years.
According to Saudi laws, an expelled expatriate will only be allowed to re-enter the Kingdom to perform Hajj and Umrah, not to work.
Previously, the Interior Ministry announced that fines in the amount of SR 10,000 would be imposed on those entering the Grand Mosque and central Haram area in Mecca as well as the holy places of Mina, Muzdalifah. and Arafat without a license from Hajj.
The penalty will be doubled if the violation is repeated, the ministry said while adding that it is part of a series of punitive measures against violators of preventive protocols to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic during the Hajj season.
A ban on entering holy places without a Hajj permit went into effect on July 5, 13 days before the annual pilgrimage, which begins on July 18.
Security personnel will perform their duties along all roads, at security checkpoints, as well as at sites and corridors leading to the central area around the Grand Mosque to prevent any attempt to violate Hajj regulations. .