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Saudi citizen fined SAR270,000 for illegally transporting pilgrims

Saudi citizen fined SAR270,000 for illegally transporting pilgrims

Makkah enforces strict entry rules to prevent over crowding during the Hajj season

Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate has announced punishments against eight citizens and residents in the Makkah area for transporting Hajj pilgrims lacking permits.

The holy city enforces strict entry rules to prevent over crowding during the Hajj season with only three categories of expats able to enter the holy city.

They include the holders of Hajj permits, those with residence permits issued from Makkah and those with permits to work during Hajj.

The directorate said punishments handed out to the group including imprisonment, fines, deportation, defamation and the confiscation of the vehicle used to transport the pilgrims.

In a rare step it also named all of those involved and their sentences. The fines are based on the number of pilgrims transported, starting at SAR10,000 ($2,667) per pilgrim, and are increased in the case of a repeat offence.

  • Nayef Hassan Mubarak Al-Juhdli: 15 days imprisonment and a fine of SAR270,000 with defamation.
  • Fahad Abdullah Saleh Al-Ghamdi: 15 days in prison and a fine of SAR40,000 with defamation.
  • Abdul Karim Khader Abed Al Harthy: 15 days imprisonment and a fine of SAR20,000 riyals with defamation.
  • Khizar Raza Hussein Shah: 15 days imprisonment and a fine of SAR40,000 with defamation and deportation.
  • Mohammed Ahmed al-Zahrani: 15 days imprisonment and a fine of SAR20,000 with defamation.
  • Yacoub Sultan Abdul Aziz: 15 days imprisonment and a fine of SAR20,000 with defamation.
  • Mohammed Jamil Mohammed al-Sedlani: 15 days imprisonment and a fine of SAR20,000 with defamation.
  • Hammad delivers Najdan al-Muhri: 15 days imprisonment and a fine of SAR10,000 with defamation and the confiscation of the vehicle.

The directorate repeated warnings to citizens and residents to avoid transporting pilgrims to Makkah that lack the necessary documentation.

Read: Saudi warns of severe punishments for illegally transporting Hajj pilgrims

The five-day Hajj ritual is a once-in-a-lifetime religious duty for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it. Pilgrims retrace the route Prophet Mohammad took 14 centuries ago in what is the largest annual gathering of Muslims.

The kingdom has welcomed 1.57 million Hajj pilgrims to date in the current season.

The 2017 Hajj season saw more than 2.35 million pilgrims converge on Makkah including 1.75 million from outside Saudi Arabia.

Read: In pics: Hajj 2017 ends, more than 2.35m pilgrims take part

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