Dubai: Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate of Passports warned that anyone caught transporting pilgrims without Hajj permits will be slapped with a six-month jail term and a fine of SR50,000, local media reported.
Penalties also include publicising violators’ names in local media and confiscating vehicles used to carry Hajj violators. The penalties will be doubled if there is more than one pilgrim provided with transport facilities.
The passport authority said expatriates caught using a forged 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, a deported expatriate will only be allowed to re-enter the Kingdom for performing Hajj and Umrah, not for work.
Earlier, the Ministry of Interior announced fines amounting to SR10,000 will be slapped on those who enter the Grand Mosque and the Central Haram Area in Mecca as well as the holy sites of Mina, Muzdalifah and Arafat without a Hajj permit.
The penalty will be doubled if the violation is repeated, the ministry said while adding that this is part of a slew of punitive measures against violators of preventive protocols to stem the spread of coronavirus pandemic during the Hajj season.
A ban on entry to the holy sites without a Hajj permit came into force on July 5, 13 days before the annual pilgrimage, which will begin on July 18.
Security personnel will carry out their duties along all roads, security check posts, as well as at the sites and corridors leading to the central area around the Grand Mosque to prevent any attempt to violate Hajj regulations.