(Pilgrims) of Hajj who do not use Hajj visas is a problem that needs to be handled firmly.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia must coordinate with Saudi Arabian authorities regarding the handling of 37 Indonesian citizens (WNI) who were arrested on suspicion of trying to perform Hajj using non-Hajj visas, the House of Representatives (DPR) has said.

"We need to coordinate with the authorities in Saudi Arabia to find the best solution and prevent similar incidents in the future," deputy chairperson of Commission VIII of the House, Abdul Wahid, told reporters here on Monday.

The case has drawn serious concern from the commission, he added. Therefore, the commission will investigate the case and try to determine why the pilgrims obtained non-Hajj visas.

He said that the issue must be handled firmly. "(Pilgrims) of Hajj who do not use Hajj visas is a problem that needs to be handled firmly," he stressed.

He also highlighted the importance of increasing supervision and cooperation between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia in managing the Hajj pilgrimage. The case is a reminder of the importance of ensuring the accuracy and validity of documents for Hajj pilgrimage.

"We must ensure that all pilgrims depart with valid documents and in accordance with applicable regulations," he added.

Saudi Arabian security authorities earlier detained 37 Indonesians who were holding only pilgrimage visas on the suspicion they were intending to perform Hajj.

The Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia in Jeddah, Yusron B. Ambarie, said that they were detained in Medina on Saturday (June 1, 2024) afternoon local time.

"A total of 37 people were arrested in Medina by security forces. They consisted of 16 women and 21 men. They came from Makassar," he informed in Mecca.

The pilgrims flew from Indonesia to Doha and then to Riyadh, he said. On their way to Medina, they caught the Saudi Arabian police's attention during checks. The police suspected the pilgrims were intending to perform Hajj.

An inspection by the security personnel found that dozens of pilgrims were using fake Hajj attributes, which are usually worn by official pilgrims from Indonesia.

"Fake Hajj bracelets, fake identity cards, and there were also those who faked Hajj visas," Ambarie said.

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Translator: Tri Meilani Ameliya, Katriana
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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