Saudi: Fine of SR50,000, 6-months jail for transporting Hajj pilgrims without permit

Riyadh: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Monday announced the imposition of a fine of 50,000 Saudi Riyals (Rs 9,93,053) and six-month jail on anyone who is caught transporting pilgrims without Hajj permits.

The general directorate of passports, Jawazat has warned that the penalties also include announcing the names of the violators in the local media, in addition to confiscating the means of transportation. The penalty is doubled if transportation is available to more than one pilgrim.

According to the Saudi Gazette, Jawazat also said, if any expatriate is caught using a forged Hajj stamp without obtaining a legal permit, they will be deported and will not be allowed to return to the Kingdom for 10 years.

The law states that a deported expatriate will be allowed to enter the Kingdom again for Hajj and Umrah only and not for work.

On July 4, the ministry of interior announced the imposition of a fine of 10,000 Saudi Riyals (Rs 198,704) on anyone who enters the holy sites without a Hajj permit.

The ministry of interior stated that the penalty will be doubled if anyone caught trying to reach the Grand Mosque, the central area surrounding it, and the holy sites (Mina, Muzdalifah, Arafat) without a permit.

Heightened security measures and strict COVID-19-related restrictions will be implemented to prevent entry to holy sites without a permit from July 5 to 23, 13 days before the annual pilgrimage, which is to begin on July 18.

Security personnel will perform their duties on all roads, security checkpoints, as well as at locations and corridors leading to the Grand Mosque to prevent attempts to break the rules, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.