Saudis, expats warned against harboring illegals


“Violators could also be sent to jail,” said Maj. Gen. Salim Al-Belaihid, director of the Passport Department. He added the fine would increase in accordance with the number of overstayers employed, transported or given housing. Those who repeat the offense would face stiffer punishment, he added.

Al-Belaihid also urged Umrah companies to ensure pilgrims who come under them leave the Kingdom before their visas expire.

Pilgrims who come on Umrah visas are not allowed to overstay in the Kingdom to perform Haj or for employment. Saudis and expatriates intending to perform Haj are required to obtain Haj permits.

Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal said security officers would be deployed in Makkah and at the other holy sites to look for pilgrims who do not possess Haj permits. He said such illegal pilgrims would be slapped with deterrent punishment, including deportation. A concerted awareness campaign would be carried out via the media to enlighten Saudis and expatriates on the importance of obtaining Haj permits and following government instructions to ensure the smooth running of Haj.

Thousands of Saudis and expatriates perform Haj every year without obtaining Haj permits and without joining Haj agents. They sleep in public places, especially on the pedestrian path between Mina and Muzdalifah, and around the stoning area of the Jamarat in Mina, causing problems to other pilgrims.

Prince Khaled has warned that tough measures would be taken against those who transport illegal pilgrims. The punishment for such violations will include imposing deterrent fines and impounding and confiscation of vehicles. Drivers will also be asked to pay back the money to the passengers and also pay the fare to transport them in licensed vehicles, he said.

Expatriates committing such violations would be deported.

Prince Khaled will hold a press conference at his office in Makkah on Saturday to emphasize the government’s resolve to prevent those who do not possess Haj permits from entering the holy places.

Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Khodairy, undersecretary at the governorate, said the move was aimed at providing greater facilities and comfort to pilgrims in general and tackling negative practices such as squatting in public places.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *