PUTRAJAYA, July 8 — Police have received at least 22 reports on the issue of prospective Haj pilgrims being stranded at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang yesterday, believed to have been cheated by a travel agency.

KLIA district police chief ACP Imran Abd Rahman said as of 3 pm today, police reports had been lodged by the victims or the victim’s family members, among others in Dungun, Terengganu; Setapak, Kuala Lumpur; Temerloh, Pahang; Rawang, Selangor.

“We expect there will be more reports to be lodged because there are many victims involved,” he said when contacted by Bernama today.

Imran said the case was being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.

“Investigations can only be made after a report is made. Hence, after this, police will call several witnesses, including representatives of the company (travel agency) involved, to get the real picture.

“Now we are just about to investigate, we didn’t say it is confirmed that they were deceived. We don’t know the (true) position yet; let us investigate first,” he said.

About 380 prospective Haj pilgrims were reported to be stranded at KLIA yesterday, believed to be victims of a scam by a travel agency.

They are believed to have used furada visas to perform Haj pilgrimage and not through the Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH).

Furada visa is a Haj visa obtained directly from the Saudi Arabian Embassy and not issued by TH. It is also not included in the Haj quota of a country.

Meanwhile, the tour agency involved was asked to discuss with all those who were stranded at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) yesterday, to find a solution in resolving the matter amicably.

The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) in a statement today said a meeting must be held immediately to find a solution satisfactory to both parties, especially the prospective pilgrims who were stranded.

If the matter cannot be resolved, the ministry urged the group members to lodge a police report and submit a compensation claim not exceeding RM50,000 to the Tribunal for Consumer Claims Malaysia (TCCM) at any KPDNHEP office nationwide.

If the amount exceeds RM50,000, the prospective pilgrim may file a claim in the Civil Court,” the statement read.

The claims must be submitted together with all the evidence including advertisements, payment receipts, all transactions including records of communication between the customer and the tour agency.

For more information on lodging claims with TTPM, contact the TTPM hotline at 1-800-88-9811 or 03-88825822 or email to [email protected]

“KPDNHEP views this matter seriously as this is a common occurrence during every Haj season which shows consumers’ ignorance of unethical practices and those who take the opportunity to deceive them,” it added. — Bernama