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Saudi Arabia Imposes Sanctions on Citizens, Residents for Transferring Pilgrims without Permission | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Pilgrims circle the Ka’aba at the Grand Mosque in Mecca on September 9 (Reuters)

Riyadh – Saudi authorities have imposed sanctions on citizens and residents involved in transporting pilgrims without a permit.

The head of the Hajj Passport Authority, Major General Dhaifallah Al-Huwaifi said in a statement on Tuesday that administrative committees were formed under the Directorate General of Passports, and were present at the entrances of Mecca to issue immediate sanctions against violators who transport Hajj pilgrims without official permission.

He added that the Authority has issued until late Tuesday 38 administrative decisions against citizens and residents, who transferred pilgrims without a permit. According to the official, sanctions ranged between 630 days of imprisonment, fines of more than 1.5 million Riyals, defamation of 37 violators, and the confiscation of eight vehicles used in transport operations.

Al-Huwaifi urged citizens and residents to abide by Saudi regulations and instructions, stressing that penalties were multiple.

“Anyone, who is caught transporting pilgrims without a statutory permit is fined 10,000 riyals for every pilgrim and 15 days of imprisonment. In case of a second violation, a fine of 25 thousand riyals is imposed on the violator for each pilgrim, in addition to two months of imprisonment. If the offense is repeated for a third time and more, it is punishable by a fine of 50,000 riyals for every pilgrim and for six months of jail,” the statement said.

“In any event, the confiscation of the means of transport shall be demanded by judicial decision, if it is owned by the carrier, the accomplice or the contributor. The violator shall be deported if he is an expatriate after the execution of the penalty, and shall be prevented from entering the Kingdom according to the stipulated periods,” it added.

The Saudi official urged all pilgrims from outside Saudi Arabia to abide by the time of arrival and departure before the expiry of the period specified in the visa.