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Mash’ar Group’s license revoked last year: Islamic Ministry

Ministry of Islamic Affairs announced that the license of Al Mash'ar Hajj and Umrah Group was revoked last year and that they are currently operating without permission.

Uzma Naseem
01 April 2024, MVT 17:25
-- Photo: Mihaaru
Uzma Naseem
01 April 2024, MVT 17:25

Today, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs announced that the license of Al Mash’ar Hajj and Umrah Group was revoked last year. The Mash’ar Group has once again faced controversy due to bounced cheques issued for tickets to the travel agency.

When contacted by ‘Mihaaru’, State Minister of Islamic Affairs, Ali Ahsan, stated that the group’s permit was revoked due to delayed payment of tickets for some Umrah pilgrims during Ramadan last year, along with bounced cheques.

“With last year’s case, the group’s license was revoked”, Ahsan said.

However, without the permission of the ministry, Mash’ar Group sent people for Umrah this Ramadan as well. The same problem occurred this year; they failed to pay for the return tickets of Umrah pilgrims who traveled through their group.

Ace Travels Managing Director, Mohamed Firaq, informed ‘Mihaaru’ today that despite various discussions and chances given to the group, they have not paid for the return tickets. He also mentioned that it involves the tickets of 50 individuals.

Firaq stated that the deadline for payment is today, and if the money is not received by 18:00 hrs this evening, all tickets will be canceled.

‘Mihaaru’ also contacted Mash’ar Group owner Ali Farish regarding the issue. He said that the agent had provided them with a deadline for payment until next Friday. He also stated that arrangements for payments were currently in progress.

Firaq denied the statement and said the group had been informed via email that the deadline was today.

Two cheques issued for flight charter and tickets bounced last year, leaving 138 individuals stranded in Saudia Arabia who had traveled for Umrah during Ramadan.

At that time, the pilgrims were able to depart last minute after Mash’ar Group agreed to pay for part of the ticket, with assurances that the remaining price would be paid at a later date.

This year, the issue escalated further. Minister of Islamic Affairs, Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed posted on X urging individuals embarking on Umrah through private organizations to verify that the organizations are officially licensed to facilitate Umrah journeys.

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