Men without Hajj permits attempt to sneak into Islamic holy sites disguised as women

“The non-Saudi pilgrims ‘trying to perform Hajj illegally’ in Mecca face deportation and a ban of up to 10 years.

A group of pilgrims without Hajj permits attempted to sneak into Mecca by dressing up as women.

Muslim Hajj pilgrims are required to hold a permit allowing them to perform Hajj before they are allowed to enter Mecca.

The men were caught by Saudi police earlier this week after they attempted to smuggle themselves in.

“Al Taif police forces blocked a group of men who were disguised as women from entering Mecca. They were led by a group of people whose names will not be made public for now,” a Taif security chief told local Saudi newspaper Al Marsad.

Sun, sand and supplication: Behind the rituals of Hajj

Saudi police have blocked several other similar attempts this year, the police chief added.

Smugglers are available to bring illegal pilgrims into the holy cities to perform Hajj. At times, they are dressed as niqab-clad women to hide their identities.

More than 472,000 illegal pilgrims who had tried to enter the holy cities of Mecca and Medina through various entry points in Jeddah governorate have been turned back, said a statement by the Jeddah branch of the General Car Syndicate.

Earlier this month, the Saudi interior ministry’s public security department announced that non-Saudi pilgrims trying to perform Hajj illegally in Mecca face deportation and a ban of up to 10 years.

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The New Arab

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