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Suspected Fake Nigerian Pilgrims arrested in Saudi Arabia (Photo)



Information reaching the OsunReporters News confirm that two suspected impostors were caught mingling with genuine pilgrims who were resting after their journey from various camps in Saudi Arabia.

National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) on Friday apprehended two Nigerians allegedly posing as pilgrims at the Muna camp in Saudi Arabia.

The suspects identified as Abu Mahmud and Ismaila Yahaya, were caught mingling with genuine pilgrims who were resting after their journey from Mecca to Muna camps wearing counterfeit Nusuk Identification cards and donning the traditional white attire worn by Hajj pilgrims in an attempt to blend in with the crowd.

Their deception was uncovered, and they were taken into custody by the vigilant officials.

One of the victims, Mahmud who claimed to hail from Kano State was found also with an expired Saudi visa, revealing that he had been residing in Saudi Arabia since 2022 when his visa expired.

In a desperate bid for a better life, he allegedly paid the sum of N3 million to enter Saudi Arabia in search of ‘greener pastures illegally.’

According to him, “I only want to perform Hajj. So I faked the Nusuk ID and sneaked into the camp when Nigerians arrived this afternoon. I am so sorry. Please allow me to go. I won’t do the Hajj again. If you arrest me I will be in trouble and also my family.”

At the time of filing this report, the impersonating pilgrims were being interrogated by NAHCON officials, who will subsequently hand them over to the Saudi authorities.

It would be recalled that the Saudi government had issued a stern warning that all pilgrims must possess a valid Nusuk card to participate in this year’s hajj.

Those found without the mandatory Nusuk card will face severe consequences, including deportation to their country of origin, a jail sentence and a fine of 10,000 Saudi Riyals.

The significant event, hajj has drawn over 1.5 million pilgrims from around the world, with numbers expected to exceed 2 million, according to Saudi authorities, as 2024 hajj reaches its peak on Sunday.

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