The Jakarta Post
For various reasons, between 2015 and 2017 the Religious Affairs Ministry revoked the permits of 24 travel agencies that arrange haj and umroh (minor haj) to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Among the agencies that had permits revoked were those that did not provide pilgrims with air tickets home from Saudi Arabia, those that cheated their customers, those that violated immigration regulations and those that owed money to hotels in Saudi Arabia.
“Mostly, they were involved in fraud. Before having their permits revoked, they were warned,” said Arfi Hatim, head of the umroh division at the ministry’s haj and umroh directorate general as reported by kontan.co.id.
Arfi said his office was now watching many agencies that were accused of violating regulations. He, however, declined to mention the names of the agencies.
“Members of a team are discussing the issue,” he said, adding that his office could only intensify its monitoring of a number of other haj and umroh agencies because the ministry did not have a regulation on standards for the establishment of agencies.
“We have cooperated with other institutions because the Religious Affairs Ministry has no legal instrument to crack down on delinquent agencies,” he added.
A member of House of Representatives’ Commission VII for religious affairs, Achmad Mustaqiem, said that the ministry had to be serious in cracking down on unprofessional haj and umroh agencies.
“The ministry has to quickly take action against delinquent agencies to prevent them from repeatedly cheating people,” Achmad added. (bbn)