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Electronic reader to quicken the pace of Haj permit checking

They also ensure that no vehicle carrying less than 25 passengers enters the holy sites.

Source : Arab news / 02 Sep 2014

The Interior Minister has warned prospective pilgrims to obtain a Haj permit as security forces were on high alert to avert any attempt to sneak into the holy sites without a permit.

“The interior minister has issued an order that people without a Haj permit will not be allowed to enter the Haj premises,” Director of Public Security Maj. Gen. Uthman Al-Muhrej said while launching the Electronic Haj permit teader service at the Public Security Club in Riyadh on Sunday.

Establishments and individuals who had ignored the permit regulation last year incurred penalties including suspension of all government services. They were also referred to the Prosecution and Investigation Commission for legal action, Al-Muhrej said.

He added that security checks at entry points and roads leading to the holy sites have been tightened with the posting of more officers.

He put the number of security officers whose task is to regulate pilgrim services at the holy sites at 60,000. They also ensure that no vehicle carrying less than 25 passengers enters the holy sites.

“This service (electronic Haj permit reader) will save a lot of time at security check points particularly for vehicles carrying more than 25 passengers. An officer can check the barcode sticker on the vehicle without needing to see the permit of each individual passenger,” he said.

The electronic reading system has been introduced by the Public Security Directorate in collaboration with the National Information Center with the aim of regulating, speeding up and simplifying the Haj permit checking.

Al-Muhrej said the mechanical reading system will end the forgery of Haj permits and weed out fake Haj service establishments. He added that checking of domestic pilgrims will start from their own provinces without waiting for their arrival at the entry points to Makkah.

“The violators will be arrested at permanent and temporary security checkpoints on roads across the Kingdom,” he said.

He also warned illegal transporters of pilgrims that the directorate is aware of the secret routes through which they smuggle pilgrims into the holy sites. More officers have been deployed on such dirt roads.

"As we have no official statistics yet, it is not possible to predict at this time the number of pilgrims for the upcoming Haj. However, their number will be determined by the capacity of the holy sites and the ratio of the domestic and foreign pilgrims,” he said.


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