The Jakarta Post
Police at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport have arrested the manager of a haj travel agency for allegedly selling customers forged visas and plane tickets in what appears to be the latest case of fraud against would-be pilgrims.
The chief of the airport police, Adj. Sr. Comr. Ahmad Yusep, said the scam had been organized by the manager, Hermansyah, without the knowledge of the travel agency's owner.
"Dozens of customers received fake plane tickets," Ahmad said, as quoted by kompas.com on Thursday.
The 28-year-old manager had reportedly been instructed by the travel agency's owner to buy plane tickets for 79 customers who bought umrah (minor haj) travel packages. However, 58 of the customers found out that their tickets were fake as they tried to depart from the airport.
Only 21 customers were able to proceed with their departure.
According to Ahmad, the travel agency has already compensated the defrauded customers by replacing their tickets with new ones. All of them have meanwhile departed for Saudi Arabia.
Hermansyah, who is currently detained at the airport police’s detention center, is also alleged to have been involved in similar scams at other travel agencies.
Earlier this year, thousands of umrah pilgrims failed to reach Mecca after the First Travel agency used the money they had paid for the trip to afford the agency owners' luxurious life. (dpk/wit)