300 Moroccan HajjGoers Sleep in Mecca Streets After Fraud by Saudi

Rabat – Three-hundred Moroccan pilgrims spent a rough night on the Mecca streets on Wednesday after they were defrauded by an unidentified Saudi travel agency, reports Moroccan daily newspaper Assabah.Despite having paid the necessary expenses for hotel reservations, Moroccan pilgrimage-goers were left without shelter on the streets of the Muslims holiest site “in shocking conditions,” wrote the newspaper.The Moroccan pilgrimage arrivals were taken by surprise when they could not find their names included on the lists of hotel reservations, as they had already paid the necessary expenses, including accommodation and food. The 300 Moroccan pilgrims paid an amount of MAD 63,800 each for the stay.The pilgrims in question had paid the pilgrimage fees to a travel agency in Agadir, which had sent the pilgrims’ fees to the Saudi agency in charge of receiving the pilgrimage fees. However, the Saudi office reportedly failed in its task.Assabah reported that an investigation has been carried out by Saudi authorities in collaboration with Morocco in order to determine the circumstances of the issue.Saudi authorities arrested on Wednesday a suspect who used to work at the Saudi agency in question, added the newspaper.According to Assabah, the Moroccan Ministry of Tourism said that efforts have been made since Thursday to find a solution to the Moroccan pilgrims’ lack of shelter.It has been decided, for the time being, to house three pilgrims per room, while waiting for a solution.