The government of Saudi Arabia has announced that it would impose a fine of fifty thousand Saudi Riyals which approximately makes Rs 1.623 million and a six-month jail on Umrah pilgrims who would be overstaying beyond their assigned schedule.
As per the officials of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, the Saudi General Directorate of Passport has given a warning to the pilgrims to abide with their travel schedules.
Any pilgrim who would be found failing to pay the decided amount would then be facing an additional imprisonment. The Saudi passports division further added that the ones arriving in Kingdom on Umrah visas would not be permitted to travel outside the holy city of Makkah, Jeddah and Madinah.
It also warned the citizens and residents against providing transportation, employment or shelter to those with expired Umrah visas.
While conversing with a local newspaper, a Pakistani official handling the issue said this move has been adapted following the missing of a few pilgrims who failed to return to their homelands within the defined time.
He added that some aspiring pilgrims start looking for jobs or get into suspicious activities in Riyadh.
In the meantime, the Ministry has sent a warning to the private tour organizers or operators and has instructed them to remain watchful while sending people for performing the religious ritual of Umrah.
It stated that the tour operators would be held responsible for any person who goes missing while on pilgrimage. Tour operators were also warned of getting their licenses annulled, alongside other strict disciplinary actions against them if the pilgrims would not return within the designated time span.