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Pilgrims warned to be vigilant against dodgy Hajj operators

PUBLISHED: 19:00 15 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:52 05 October 2010

HAJJ pilgrims are being advised how to avoid falling victim to rogue firms. Every year more than 25,000 British Muslims make the annual pilgrimage to Mecca but some are defrauded disreputable tour operators. Tower Hamlets council is warning people to be e

HAJJ pilgrims are being advised how to avoid falling victim to rogue firms.

Every year more than 25,000 British Muslims make the annual pilgrimage to Mecca but some are defrauded disreputable tour operators.

Tower Hamlets council is warning people to be extra vigilant while making preparations for Hajj, which takes place in less than three months.

Community safety leader Cllr Abdal Ullah said: "The majority of travel operators arranging Hajj pilgrimages are providing an excellent service.

"However, there is still a minority who are simply out to make money at the expense of others.

"This is a special time for people and we hope that they take care to book their tickets through reputable agents.

"If people do find they have problems they can always contact our trading standards teams who have taken successful action against fraudulent operators in the past."

Trading standards officer Nazir Ali added: "With Hajj tour packages costing an average £2,500, falling foul of a rogue firm can be an expensive and traumatic experience.

"Our advice is to book with a company recommended by friends or family, check if it is Air Travel Organiser's Licence protected and don't hand over any money until the itinerary has been agreed in writing."

Anyone with concerns or who would like help with booking can contact Tower Hamlets council trading standards at tradingstandards@towerhamlets.gov.uk or 020 7364 5008.


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