Padang (ANTARA) - The Religious Ministry's West Sumatra Office reminded people to not be scammed by fraudulent Hajj travel services offering departures for the Holy Land using visas other than the Hajj visa.

"It should be emphasized that the visas (for prospective pilgrims) in 2024 have been issued, so there are no other visas other than the Hajj visa," Head of the Religious Ministry's West Sumatra Office, Mahyudin, remarked here on Monday.

He made the statement as a follow-up to the religious affairs minister's announcement that the Indonesian Hajj quota has been filled, so the public is urged to not be lured by any offer to go to the Holy Land using a non-Hajj visa.

To prevent people from falling victims to such fraud, Mahyudin said his side has disseminated information to all district and city governments regarding the departure to Saudi Arabia using the Hajj visa.

"We have asked them to prevent the public from being deceived by individuals who said they issue visas other than the Hajj visa, as they do not exist," he stated.

Meanwhile, he explained that the special Hajj program has in place its own mechanism under the ministry that always supervises the implementation in each province.

He revealed that a team from the central government regularly monitors for irregularities in special Hajj departures in every province.

Tight supervision is deemed necessary, considering that the government has given permission to several official travel agencies to depart people to the Holy Land.

He ensured that the government will act firmly against travel agencies conducting illegal activities by revoking their operational licenses, among other stringent measures.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Arabian government has tightened its regulation for people looking to perform Hajj.

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Translator: M Zulfikar, Kenzu
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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