Hajj Board bares teeth at fake Hajj Pilgrims
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Accra – The Ghana Hajj Board has expressed concerns over attempts by some persons, with the connivance of hajj agents, to perform Hajj either with Umrah or a tourist visa.

The Board said the act, which Saudi authorities deemed illegal, was threatening the integrity of the management of the annual pilgrimage.

“Notice is hereby given to holders of such visas that the Ministry of Hajj in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has issued several warnings and accompanying sanctions, which include a five-year prison term for such violators and an outright and indefinite ban from entering the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia after serving the sentence,” the Board said in a release on Saturday.

The Board explained that the violators obtain tourist or Umrah visas and illegally extend their stay, after which they infiltrate the camp of Ghana Hajj Board pilgrims to perform the pilgrimage, thwarting the coordination and organisation of Ghana’s Hajj.

“Such violators are the source of the bulk of the challenges encountered by the Ghana Hajj Board every year.

“They infiltrate the Ghanaian camp and illegally access facilities such as accommodation and transport and partake in the meals meant for our pilgrims, a conduct that creates logistical challenges for the board,” the statement read.

The Ghana Hajj Board has expressed its intention to introduce drastic measures, which include collaborating with Saudi security agents to arrest such persons, among others.

It added that “agents implicated in such unlawful action will face sanctions, including a long period of suspension from operating as Hajj agents.”

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