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Jakarta Post

What about our money?: First Travel scam victims lament over seized assets given to state

  • Sausan Atika

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, November 24, 2019   /  12:44 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Seeking justice: Victims of First Travel's 'umrah' travel scam attend a hearing for the case at the Depok District Court in West Java. ( Adhiyuda Prasetia )

Aside from it becoming a trend among those who can afford it, going on the umrah (minor haj) is a priority for some Muslims who aim to boost their spiritual virtues. Visiting Mecca, Saudi Arabia for the minor haj has been the dream of Siti Nurhasanah, who resides in Depok, West Java.  To realize it, the 50-year-old woman booked a travel package for Rp 15 million (US$ 1,064) with First Travel in 2015, hoping that she would get a chance to depart the following year. She also booked a spot for her daughter and mother-in-law for the same amount not long after. Two years later, the company asked her for another Rp 2.5 million per person, claiming that the money was to adjust ticket fares. Nur borrowed money from relatives to pay the amount requested.  Two days after making payment, her happiness turned into disappointment after learning that First Travel had been ...