About 20,000 Muslims from UK are expected to visit Saudi Arabia for Hajj in October 2013. Reportedly, British authorities are worried about the increasing number of fraudulent trips on sale.
This week, the Hajj Fraud Awareness Campaign is set to begin in collaboration with the City of London Police and the Council of British Hajjis (CBH). The Hajj starts Oct. 13. It is considered the biggest gathering in the world held annually. Reports claimed many British Muslims fall prey to fraudulent Hajj packages targeting innocent pilgrims.
Previously, 44 Hajj frauds were filed to the British police. The real number of Hajj frauds was thought much higher than reported. According to the Council report, 2013 is considered a challenging year with many issues seen in the revised Hajj rules restricting pilgrims to go to Hajj for several times. It provides a reduced quota that prohibit the number of visits, especially for those who have been in the pilgrimage for the last 5 years.
The iconic Masjid al-Haram mosque is likely to expand in three year's time, resulting to some expected restrictions. Earlier, the number of Hajj pilgrims allowed to travel from UK was 25,000. Now this was reduced to 20,000 travelers.
According Rashid Mogradia, CEO of CBH, the level of criminal involvement in the traveling process is expected to rise eventhough the number of allowed pilgrims is reduced. Mogradia said to Al Arabiya the number of expected fraudulent cases is about a thousand but it may go up to several thousands.
Many are attracted to fraudulent packages because they want to pay less. People get cheated with false promises which these companies can never fulfil.
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