The latest report was issued by the Government of the UK on first ever Hajj/Umrah tour and travel operator’s inspection and investigation sent a shock wave amongst the British Muslim community. It was stated in the report that during the recent inspection, officials discovered Hajj and Umrah non compliance on a large scale. Out of 182 inspected businesses, 147 Hajj and Umrah travel operators were found to be non- compliant with the UK Legislation.
129 businesses were issued letter of warnings and trader notices by the authority. It was also stated that formal enforcement action were undertaken in 17 cases. 13 prosecutions are pending. A further 4 businesses were issued with formal cautions.
Association of British Hujjaj (Pilgrims) UK ABH, a national Hajj specific organisation, working for the welfare and wellbeing of British Hajj/Umrah pilgrims, welcomes the outcome of the initiative taken by the UK law enforcement authorities. ABH has been working tirelessly since almost over two decades to raise the issue of serious violation of the UK Legislation and the worsening situation of exploitation of British Hajj/ Umrah pilgrims by the unscrupulous and rogue tour and travel operators. Thousands of unfortunate and vulnerable British Hajj/Umrah pilgrims including elderly, sick and disabled have suffered extreme mental anguish, hardship, trauma, difficulties and financial loss during these years.
ABH is optimistic that first ever national investigation and inspection of Hajj/ Umrah tour and travel operators by the law enforcement authorities in the UK will help and protect over 125, 000 British pilgrims who travel to Saudi Arabia every year. This initiative will also ensure the rule of law and will help eliminating exploitation and malpractice amongst unscrupulous tour and travel operators.