Making pilgrim to Hajj in Saudi Arabia is every Muslim’s dream with millions across the world breaking their back to make the annual pilgrim to Mecca.
Some 30 Kenyan pilgrims were over the moon when they were presented with the prospect of travelling to Mecca by Mr. Nur who is a hajj agent and operates under the business name ‘Ithaf Hajj and Umra Agency.’
Ibrahim Mohammed, one of the victims, said the man approached him at his home saying he runs a registered agency that takes people to hajj.
“At first I did not believe him so later on it emerged that he did not approach me alone. He was going door to door asking people if they will be willing to go to Hajj this year through his agency,” said Mr Mohammed, the EastAfrican reported.
He added that he deposited Ksh600,000 ($6,000) into the agency’s account and waited for the day to travel to Saudi Arabia.
Come the D day, Mr. Nur was nowhere to be found and together with other victims they were left stranded in Eastleigh, Nairobi.
“The day for travelling came, we were ready but the man who approached us was missing and had already received some money from many people,” said Mr Mohammed.
Mr. Ibrahim was one of Mr. Nur’s victims who forked out between Ksh350,000 ($3,500) and Ksh400,000 ($4,000). In total, all of them lost over Ksh12 million (about $120,000).
Mr. Nur is alleged to be on the run with the victims’ passports and was last seen in South Sudan.
According to a statement by the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (Supkem), Mr. Nur is a registered hajj agent based in Nairobi and his agency is registered and accredited.
However, according to Supkem, Mr Nur did not submit a list of names, payments or passports of prospective pilgrims for the 2019 Hajj.
After Nur’s dirty deeds came to light Supkem has deregistered his agency.