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Saudi govt to jail overstaying Umrah pilgrims

RIYADH: Ministry of Religious Affairs in Saudi Arabia has warned that the Umrah pilgrims overstaying in the Kingdom will face a fine of fifty thousand Riyal and six-month imprisonment after expiry of their Umrah visa.

The Ministry said additional imprisonment will have to be imposed in case of failure to deposit the fine.

It said license of the tour operators will be canceled along with other strict penalties if the Umrah pilgrims do not return within scheduled period.

As per the officials of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, the Saudi General Directorate of Passport has given a warning to the pilgrims to abide with their travel schedules.

Any pilgrim who would be found failing to pay the decided amount would then be facing an additional imprisonment. The Saudi passports division further added that the ones arriving in Kingdom on Umrah visas would not be permitted to travel outside the holy city of Makkah, Jeddah and Madinah.

In the meantime, the Ministry has sent a warning to the private tour organizers or operators and has instructed them to remain watchful while sending people for performing the religious ritual of Umrah.

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