The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents has suggested radical action taken against travel agencies cheating haj pilgrims as a recent report indicated 400 travelers being stranded at the airport after their travel agent bolted with the funds.
Additionally, the president, Datuk Dr Mohd Khalid Harun said to avoid being duped, prospective pilgrims who dealt with travel agencies could contact MATA if they had any doubts.
In order to avoid such a situation of being duped, he advised pilgrims needed to have a haj visa to perform the pilgrimage and get the proof before providing any documents such as passports and also not to make any payment until the flight is guaranteed.
Mohd Khalid also reminded travel agencies not to trade at will, the haj visas awarded to them, and to set reasonable service charges. Make sure the travel agencies have first received the offer (haj visas),” he said. On July 7, Bernama reported that 380 prospective haj pilgrims were stranded at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and they were believed to be victims of a scam by a travel agency.
They were believed to have used furada visas, which are self-managed visas and reportedly issued by Saudi Arabia, which are not included in the Tabung Haji (TH) quota.
TH had previously warned that any individual or travel agency offering haj packages without approval was committing an offence and could face legal action under the Tabung Haji Act 1995 (Act 535).