The Association of British Hujjaj (Pilgrims) UK (ABH) a National Hajj specific organisation working for the welfare and wellbeing of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims, expresses its grave concern about the plight of a large number of Hajj & Umrah pilgrims from UK and around the world who are suffering from extreme hardship, difficulty, mental anguish and financial exploitation at the hands of rogue Hajj tour and travel operators, some of whom disappeared with the pilgrims hard-earned money and abandoned them.
The Association of British Hujjaj (Pilgrims) UK has condemned this ruthless crime in the strongest word and is disgusted at the fact that someone could take advantage of vulnerable and innocent people including the sick, elderly and women at what could have been their once in a life-time trip to perform Hajj/Umrah.
It is a disgrace that these rogue tour operators are preying on vulnerable pilgrims, cheating and charging them at extortionate and unjustified prices for the Hajj & Umrah packages, which is a total rip-off compare to travel packages to other countries around the world, in view that many pilgrims are likely to have spent their life-savings to fulfil their desires and wishes to perform the pilgrimage.
Most pilgrims have been bitterly disappointed and distressed by the substandard services, lack of guidance and degrading behaviour of their tour operators and this situation has significantly worsened in the last few years.
The Association of British Hujjaj strongly urges all the concerned Governments and specifically the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to crack down on those who are responsible for this growing culture of deception and immoral practices in the Hajj & Umrah travel and tour industry.
The Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and Muslim World League (MWL) should also take their responsibilities seriously and make every effort to ensure the welfare and wellbeing of millions of pilgrims from around the world. It is extremely vital to set up permanent arrangements or an authority to eliminate the malpractice and fraudulent activities from the Hajj & Umrah industry in order to allow the guests of Allah (swt) to perform their religious obligations in peace and harmony.