Hefty fine, jail for illegal transportation of pilgrims

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Arab News

Published — Thursday 3 September 2009

Last Update 3 September 2009 3:00 am

JEDDAH: The Interior Ministry on Wednesday warned Saudis and expatriates against transporting Haj and Umrah pilgrims to cities other than Makkah, Madinah and Jeddah even though their visas may be valid, saying violators of the rule would be punished.

In a statement, the ministry said those who provide such illegal transportation could face a jail sentence of no more than two years and/or a fine of no more than SR100,000 per pilgrim. The vehicle used in the infraction would also be confiscated.

“All individuals as well as transport means coming to or leaving the Kingdom by land or sea should enter and leave the Kingdom through the entry points and ports specified for them,” the ministry said, adding that the pilgrims could also face jail time of up to 30 months and/or be fined up to SR25,000.

The ministry also urged drivers not to receive, transport or unload any person or material from the border. Those who violate this rule could face a jail sentence of up to 30 months and/or a fine of up to SR25,000.

Authorities will also reserve the right to charge violators with the expense of publishing an announcement of the punishments issued in local newspapers.

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