Jeddah, Aug 29: The Makkah Governorate has issued a package of penalties to be imposed on individuals and companies violating regulations stipulated for the smooth conduct of this year’s pilgrimage.
The governorate said transporting pilgrims without licenses is a violation that carries a fine not exceeding SR100,000, a two-year prison sentence and sees the car used for such transport impounded.
The offender shall not be released even on bail, a governorate statement said.
On its Twitter account, the governorate said performing Haj without permit is a violation punished with the deportation of the perpetrator and a 10-year ban on his/her entry to the Kingdom.
If a foreigner overstays his visa, he will be fined SR15,000 and deported, the first time, fined SR25,000, given three months in prison and deported, the second time, and fined SR50,000, given six months in prison and deported the third time.
Those violating rules related to transportation, employing or sheltering pilgrims, or those aiding and abetting violators will be fined SR15,000 and if the offender is a foreigner, he will be deported in case of a first-time violation, the governorate said.
If the violation is repeated a second time, the violator will be detained for three months, fined SR30,000 and deported (if foreigner); a third violation will mean a six-month prison term, a SR100,000 fine and deportation (if the offender is a foreigner).
Fines will increase as the number of violations grows, the governorate said.
Haj service providers who fail to report on pilgrims who overstay their visas will be fined SR25,000 the first time; a second and third time will carry a fine of SR50,000 and SR100,000, respectively, the governorate site said.
Owners of firms employing foreigners that violate rules or allow employees to work on their account will be fined SR25,000 and banned from recruiting for one year; the employee in charge guilty of violations will be deported the first time if he is a foreigner.
If the violation is repeated the second time, the company will be fined SR50,000, it will be banned from recruiting for two years, named and shamed; the employee in charge will get a six- month prison term and will be deported if foreigner.
If the offense is repeated the third time, the company will be fined SR100,000, banned from recruitment for five years, named and shamed, the violator imprisoned for one year and deported if a foreigner, the governorate said.
Security sources said 76 entities were caught transporting pilgrims without permits last year; together they were fined SR3.7 million.
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