Nazri Aziz says some of these victims had sold their land to go at least once to Mecca.
PUTRAJAYA: A total of RM6.8 million was fleeced from unsuspecting Malaysians when they purchased fake umrah packages last year, Nazri Aziz revealed.
Describing such scams as a “disgrace”, the Tourism and Culture Minister also revealed most of the victims – from the 1,478 reports lodged over such incidents – came from middle and low-middle income families.
“I am really disappointed that some people are willing to lie in the name of Islam. Victims are usually those who are not rich.
“These people (victims) had to sell their land to buy these packages because they want to go to Mecca at least once in their lifetime, but then they were cheated,” he said at a press conference at Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside here today.
The Padang Rengas MP said between 2012 and 2015, a total of 3,086 reports were lodged, with an estimated loss of RM17.5 million.
Nazri went on to caution the public to be more careful when purchasing umrah packages, specifically noting that deals below RM4,900 for a 12-day/10-night stay were most likely a scam.
This sum, he explained, was in fact the minimum rate set by the Umrah Regulatory Council (MKSU) for tour operators to charge pilgrims.
Nazri warned that the government would take stern action against licensed operators and unlicensed ones that cheat the people.