Saudi Gazette – The passports department (Jawazat) at Prince Muhammad Bin Abdul Aziz International Airport here have uncovered three forged Haj visas, according to its director, Col. Badr Al-Mutairi.

Talking to local daily Al-Madina on Monday, he did not reveal the names or the nationalities of the persons holding the forged visas, but said they were immediately deported.

He said there about 90 state-of-the-art equipment in the airport to check the travel documents and the visas against forgery.

Mutairi said there are three departure lounges in the airport supplied with 62 passport counters to quickly process the pilgrims’ passports.

He said more than 9,500 pilgrims left Madinah for their respective homes on Sunday.

“The Jawazat has deployed all its human and technological resources for the service of the guests of God,” he said.

According to him, there are 62 fixed fingerprinting devices for the fingerprinting of the departing pilgrims.

“We also have mobile fingerprinting equipment for the old and the disabled pilgrims. The processing of the passport will not take more than a minute,” he added.

Mutairi said there are more than 600 Jawazat personnel, including women, to provide quick service to the pilgrims.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Haj and Umrah has asked the local Haj companies whose licenses have expired with the end of this season, to apply for renewal starting Oct. 2.

The ministry asked the companies to present crime-free records from the police and a report about their civil registry from the Civil Affairs Department as necessary requirements for the renewal of licenses.
It fixed Nov. 13 as the last date for receiving license-renewal applications.

On the other hand as many as 34,000 Egyptian men and women expatriates have performed Haj this year constituting about 39.2 percent of the number of the domestic pilgrims from all regions except Makkah.
According to a report by the General Authority of Statistics, the domestic pilgrims were 537,573 consisting of Saudis and expatriates.

The report said the domestic pilgrims included 330,000 expatriates and Saudis living in Makkah and 207,000 from the other areas in the Kingdom.

It said as many as15,757 Egyptian expatriate pilgrims proceeded directly to Mina on Saturday, the eighth of Dhul Hijja, while 13,770 of them had arrived a day earlier.


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