KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 — The Malaysian Association of Tour Agencies (Mata) has suggested that the authorities make cases of travel agencies cheating Haj pilgrims a serious crime with a prison sentence to eradicate the scam.

Its 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.

He said prospective pilgrims needed to have a Haj visa to perform the pilgrimage.

“Ensure you have a Haj visa. Get the proof before providing any documents such as passports and do not pay before there is a flight guarantee,” he said in a statement today.


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). — Bernama