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Some Firms Were Found to Be bringing People on Unlawful Umrah Trips; Offenders Faced Jail Time and Severe Fines

Five infractions against Umrah expedition businesses were noted by the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs’ Department of Hajj and Umrah Affairs during the national holidays. Under the direction of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, these businesses had planned over 50 journeys via the land ports of Salmi in Kuwait and Raqi in Saudi Arabia.

Article 9 of the Hajj and Umrah Expedition Operations Law states that without a license from the relevant authorities, it is not allowed to run or publicize a Hajj and Umrah campaign. Anyone breaking this law faces a maximum sentence of one year in jail and/or a fine of KD fifty thousand. Under the direction of Director of the Department Sattam Al-Muzain, the Department of Hajj and Umrah Affairs undertook a field visit to the Saudi Al-Reqqei port and the Kuwaiti Salmi port in order to keep an eye on these businesses and apprehend those who engage in Umrah activities without a license. Additionally, the purpose of the visit was to ascertain the degree to which Umrah companies adhere to Ministerial Resolution No. 51/2021’s executive regulations and Law No. 1/2015, which governs the organization of Hajj and Umrah campaigns. A few businesses were observed during the tour, and it was determined that laws No. 1/2015 and executive regulations No. 51/2021 had been broken.

Dr. Muhammad Fahad Al-Shteiwi, the head of the licensing department and judicial control officer, asked that these infractions be noted and that those who break the aforementioned laws and regulations face the worst punishments possible. As to the provisions of Article 7 of Law No. 1/2015 about the organization of Hajj and Umrah campaigns, the license holder shall be subject to one of the following penalties upon proof of a violation:
1. Caution.
2. Selling all or a portion of the licensee’s letter of guarantee’s worth.

3. Refunding money to pilgrims who have completed the Hajj or Umrah if a service is not provided or is performed carelessly.

4. The license suspension for a maximum of three years 5. The license will be permanently canceled. The schedule of infractions and penalties that the Supreme Committee is required to publish as soon as this law is put into effect will determine these punishments. The individual receiving the penalty has the right, in accordance with the basic guidelines set forth in this respect, to register a grievance against it.

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