Captions: Pictures from the fraudulent water factory - Sabq Image Credit:

Manama: Police in the Saudi city of Makkah have busted a factory used to bottle and market regular tap water as having been taken from the Zamzam well inside the Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest place.

The factory in the Khalidiya neighbourhood in the city was raided following an extensive investigation launched by the police following complaints by a visitor who discovered that all the Zamzam bottles he had purchased in Makkah from street vendors were fake.

The complaint was conveyed to the police in Makkah who worked on gathering information to lead them to the factory where the bottles were given the special stickers and filled with regular tap water.

During the raid, the police arrested three Asians and one Arab who filled 600 bottles with tap water and non-drinkable water and readied them to be sold as Zamzam water.

The police also seized 16,000 boxes the cheaters planned to use for the water bottles.

Muslims in Makkah are keen on drinking and using Zamzam water and on taking bottles home to families and friends.

The strong demand for Zamzam water has resulted in attempts to market fraudulent water bottles.

Visitors are often warned to avoid buying Zamzam water bottles from street vendors and unlicenced shops in order to avoid the risks of being cheated.

In January, the Ministry of Haj said that operators should not promote the purchase of alleged Zamzam water bottles from unlicenced vendors to avoid frauds.