Ghana Hajj Board Chairman Alhaji Banda warns against scammers, unauthorized visa usage

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The Chairman of the Ghana Hajj Board, Ben Abdallah Banda, has issued a cautionary message to prospective Ghanaian Muslims, advising them to be vigilant and wary of scammers who offer tourist visas instead of legitimate Hajj services.

Chairman Banda emphasized that individuals with either a tourist visa or Hajj visa who have not made payments through the Hajj Board or its accredited agents should abandon their plans to access Ghana's facilities in Saudi Arabia during the Hajj pilgrimage, as they will be identified and dealt with accordingly.

During the announcement, the Ghana Hajj Board chairman explained that some people, whether knowingly or unknowingly, attempt to perform the Hajj using tourist visas instead of the required Hajj visa.

He warned that Saudi Arabian authorities are committed to strict enforcement of the law, and individuals caught in violation may face prosecution.

“I want to caution my brothers and sisters who may have paid money to fraudulent agents promising tourist visas instead of Hajj visas. It is not possible to perform the Hajj with a tourist visa, and if you attempt to do so, you will be apprehended, prosecuted, and potentially face imprisonment, deportation, or a ban from entering Saudi Arabia for an extended period,” warned Ben Abdallah Banda.

He further added, “There are also individuals holding tourist visas who have not made payments through the Hajj Board or our accredited agents, but still intend to use our facilities in Saudi Arabia and portray themselves as part of our group since they are Ghanaians. We will not tolerate such actions, and I caution those who plan to engage in such activities to refrain from doing so to avoid any inconvenience and embarrassment.”

Regarding the preparations for this year's Hajj pilgrimage, Chairman Abdallah Banda disclosed that the first group of Ghanaian pilgrims will depart from to Saudi Arabia on Friday, June 9. The airlifting of pilgrims from the will continue until June 16, after which the airlifting of pilgrims from the southern region will commence.

Approximately 6,000 Ghanaian pilgrims are expected to be airlifted to Saudi Arabia for the 2023 Hajj pilgrimage, marking the first full-capacity Hajj since the outbreak of the global pandemic in 2019. The Ghana Hajj Board urges all pilgrims to adhere to the necessary procedures and guidelines to ensure a safe and successful Hajj experience.

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