Maldivian Pilgrim Alleges Hajj Corruption, Files Complaint

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A Maldivian pilgrim has decided to lodge a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), calling for an investigation into potential corruption in this year’s Hajj operations.

The pilgrim, Mohamed Nizam, has alleged corruption involving the agents responsible for Hajj arrangements. He claimed that the services provided fell short of what they had paid for.

In a Facebook post, Nizam, who successfully completed this year’s pilgrimage, outlined areas that need improvement for next year. While praising the overall efforts of the helpers and the Hajj arrangements, he noted that pilgrims often wasted time and energy due to the organizers’ lack of command and control.

Nizam highlighted several management errors that he believes should not have occurred and called for the Hajj Corporation to employ a capable and experienced management team to address these issues. He emphasized the need for helpers to have adequate Islamic knowledge, be reasonably fluent in Arabic, and be familiar with basic software applications like Google Maps, as well as the bus and travel routes.

He stressed the importance of appointing a management team that would prevent future accusations of corruption against the Hajj Corporation. According to Nizam, pilgrims who pay nearly MVR 85,000 deserve services that reflect that cost.

He specifically mentioned that Maldivian and Sri Lankan pilgrims were crammed into a single tent and described the services they received at Mina as “zero rate.” Nizam reported that 500 people were lodged in a tent with a capacity for only 300, creating an unbearable environment due to the heat. Some pilgrims had to sleep in a nearby mosque. He also criticized the quality of the food provided during the first two days, stating that many elderly pilgrims did not eat because it was foreign and of low quality, and that there were significant delays in food distribution.

Nizam accused the agent of corruption and has decided to file a formal complaint with the ACC, seeking an investigation. He emphasized that preparations for lodging at Mina should be made in advance and that Hajj Corporation staff and helpers should respect Saudi laws and regulations.

He also pointed out that none of the leaders assigned to the pilgrim congregation had checked on them during their stay in Saudi Arabia.

Nizam’s allegations come despite the Minister of Islamic Affairs, Dr. Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed, claiming that this year’s Hajj operations had been a success.