Fingerprinting of pilgrims to be conducted outside Kingdom

Fingerprinting of pilgrims to be conducted outside Kingdom
RAPID TRANSIT: A system for fingerprinting and registering background information outside the Kingdom will be implemented soon, thus reducing the need for pilgrims to stand longer in front of passport counters. (SPA)
Updated 01 October 2016

Fingerprinting of pilgrims to be conducted outside Kingdom

Fingerprinting of pilgrims to be conducted outside Kingdom

JEDDAH: Director General of Passports Directorate Maj. Gen. Sulaiman Al-Yahya said penalties and fines have been applied against 3,500 pilgrims who failed to leave after the last Umrah season, which ended in Shawwal.
He said their locations have been identified as their fingerprints were taken during their arrival in the Kingdom.
He said this number is considered low as compared to previous years, when the number of violators ranged between 20,000-30,000. No violations were reported among pilgrims during the Haj season 1436 AH, as all pilgrims left before last Ramadan.
Al-Yahya’s remarks came during the annual award ceremony on Thursday in Jeddah to honor the distinguished work of officers and staff members during the Haj season this year. “This year, we distributed evaluation devices to pilgrims to get their feed back and impressions about the services they received,” he said.
“Impressions and reports we received indicate tremendous success and satisfaction among beneficiaries,” he said, alluding to the provision of additional services during the coming period to comfort and serve pilgrims.
“The work offered to pilgrims was a harmonious effort, as described by the crown prince, deputy prime minister and minister of interior, thanks to the efforts by the directors to ensure all necessary arrangements were made to provide the best level of services and security to pilgrims.”
He said the first meeting was held at the beginning of this week with the adviser to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and chairman of the Central Haj Committee Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal. He said the meeting focused on “addressing any negatives during the last pilgrimage season (1437 AH), and ways to improve work and performance” and that the governor “praised all the efforts made during that season.”
He said the Directorate of Passports plans to apply several new mechanisms, including the introducing modern screens in different languages and an electronic platform to facilitate arrival procedures. A system for fingerprinting and registering background information outside the Kingdom will be implemented soon, thus reducing the need for pilgrims to stand in front of passport counters.
“This year, the computer system was developed to allow for rapid registration of personal information of pilgrims, take fingerprints, and complete all necessary procedures. I want to confirm that registering information of pilgrims is a security measure that protects the nation, as well as services, as a vast and useful information database to be used by authorities if needed, such as if any incidents occur to pilgrims, God forbid.”