Hajj pilgrims perform the Farewell Tawaf
Hajj pilgrims perform the Farewell Tawaf in this file picture. Image Credit: SPA/Twitter

Dubai: Saudi Arabia’s security authorities have arrested a total of 17,615 people for attempting to perform Hajj without the necessary permit, according to the Director of Public Security and Chairman of the Hajj Security Committee, Lt. Gen. Mohammad Al Bassami.

Of those arrested, 9,509 were apprehended for also violating labour, residency, and border security regulations.

In addition to arresting unauthorised pilgrims, the security forces have been vigilant in cracking down on fraudulent Hajj campaigns. A staggering 105 fake Hajj campaigns have been busted across various regions of the Kingdom.

The individuals responsible for these deceptive campaigns were arrested and have been referred to the Public Prosecution for further legal action.

Further details revealed that a massive number of people and vehicles were turned back at the Mecca entry points. In all, 202,695 individuals without Hajj permits, and 128,999 vehicles unauthorised to enter Mecca and the holy sites, were denied entry as part of the security measures.

Al Bassami said that 33 individuals have been arrested for transporting pilgrims without Hajj permits as of June 30. These individuals have been referred to the seasonal administrative committees under the General Directorate of Passports at the entrances to Mecca for appropriate action.

Al Bassami applauded the efforts of the Hajj security forces, emphasising that they implemented the security and organisational plans related to Hajj with high efficiency and professionalism. This strict enforcement is aimed at preserving the integrity of the Hajj pilgrimage and ensuring the safety and well-being of all pilgrims in attendance.

The Hajj pilgrimage is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims, which must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey.