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Jakarta Post

Authorities receive reports of alleged haj fraud in Jambi

  • Jon Afrizal

    The Jakarta Post

Jambi   /   Tue, August 29, 2017   /   10:49 pm
Authorities receive reports of alleged haj fraud in Jambi All set: Two haj pilgrims take a selfie before their departure to Mecca at Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport in Makassar, South Sulawesi, on July 28. (Antara/Abriawan Abhe)

The Religious Affairs Ministry’s Jambi office is investigating a suspected haj fraud case involving the Fathonah Haj Pilgrimage Counseling Group (KBIH Fathonah), which has allegedly failed to dispatch 33 would-be pilgrims to Mecca.

Abdullah Saman, head of the haj and umrah (minor haj) division at the Religious Affairs Ministry’s Jambi office, said KBIH Fathonah officials had already provided their statements in the case.

“Two KBIH Fathonah officials named Somad and M. Fikri have come to us. We have started to collect data and they promised to take responsibility of the problem,” Saman said on Tuesday.

Somad and Fikri had vowed to refund the haj fees of six would-be pilgrims, but refused to repay 27 others because they had registered through agents, Saman added.

The government will revoke KBIH Fathonah’s business permit should the investigation uncover proof of fraud.

Saman said his office would coordinate with the police if it received more reports from other KBIH Fathonah clients.

KBIH Fathonah has been operating since 2010 with a valid permit, which is renewed every two years.  (yon/ebf)