SINGAPORE - A Singaporean man, who allegedly cheated more than 80 people of nearly $100,000 in a haj pilgrimage tour scam, was charged in court on Friday (Aug 17).
Fahrorazi Sohoi, 47, who runs a local tour agency, is alleged to have told a customer that for $1,550, he could organise the pilgrimage for him, and for him to do so as a VIP, at the invitation of the Saudi Arabian Embassy, according to court documents.
Earlier reports had said that Fahrorazi's alleged victims were supposed to depart for the haj tour on Thursday (Aug 16), but did not receive confirmation of their flight and visa details. They had also handed their passports to Fahrorazi, said the police.
The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) said on Thursday that it had no comment on the case as it was still under investigation.
It reminded Muslims to register with the council if they wish to perform the haj, under the Advance Haj Registration System. "Only travel agents who are appointed by Muis are allowed to provide haj services," it added.
If found guilty of cheating, Fahrorazi could be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.
Fahrorazi, who is remanded in custody, is scheduled to appear in court on Aug 24.