Police call for regulations on umrah services
The Jakarta Post
The National Police have called on the Religious Affairs Ministry to draft a detailed mechanism on haj and umrah (minor haj) services to ensure fair business competition and prevent scams.
"We hope all related stakeholders issue a clear policy as a guideline for people so that they will know the standard prices for umrah and haj services,” National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Rikwanto said on Saturday as quoted by kompas.com.
The statement was made amid an ongoing investigation into an umrah fraud scandal implicating First Travel, which was reported to have extorted hundreds of billions of rupiah from would-be umrah pilgrims.
Rikwanto said the policy should detail the pricing on the facilities given during the pilgrimage, including airfares, in a bid to help the consumers identify credible umrah or haj travel agencies.
"It [the policy] is to prevent unhealthy business competition that may harm people," Rikwanto said.
Following the First Travel case, the Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI) has called on the police's criminal investigation office (Bareskrim) and the Religious Affairs Ministry to work further to uncover fraud allegedly committed by several other umrah travel agencies, such as Kafilah Rindu Ka'bah and Basmalah Tour.
According to YLKI, several Kafilah Rindu Ka'bah clients reported the agency to Bareskrim last year, while those using the services of Basmalah Tour lodged a report against the agency with the Bandung Police in 2014. (ipa)
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