Some of the victims who shared their plight with the media today. (Bernama pic)
Malaysia: A total of 25 individuals suffered losses amounting to RM634,400, paid to a travel agency which they allege had cheated them.
All these pilgrims, who were left stranded at the King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah on Aug 5 last year, today decided to file a lawsuit against the company after claiming that the agency did not return the full amount they had paid.
One of the victims, Muhammad Radhi Shariff Hussain, 56, said the company had been given ample time to return their money but only a small amount was returned.
“This has affected us emotionally as most of us are not from well to do families,” he told a press conference which was also attended by 14 other victims and their lawyers here today.
He also claimed that on the day of the incident, the company had failed to inform them in advance that they were not accompanied by a licenced “mutawwif” (guide for pilgrims) on their flight to Jeddah.
“Upon arrival at the airport, we were denied entry at the immigration counter after our visa was found to be invalid,” said the private sector employee, adding that a police report regarding the matter had also been lodged.
It is understood that the pilgrims had each paid around RM30,000 to RM50,000 to apply for the “furada” haj visa (haj visa obtained by dealing directly with the Saudi Arabian Embassy).