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Man who conned Hajj pilgrims arrested in Somalia

Monday January 13 2020

Hajj pilgrimage

Muslim pilgrims in Mecca on August 7, 2019. A man who disappeared with over Sh7 million belonging to Muslim who were planning to go on Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia last year has been arrested in Somalia. PHOTO | FETHI BELAID | AFP 

FARHIYA HUSSEIN
By FARHIYA HUSSEIN
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A man who disappeared with over Sh7 million belonging to Muslims who were planning to go on Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia last year has been arrested in Somalia.

The suspect is in police custody, Kenyan detectives have confirmed.

Through its official Twitter account, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations said a multi-agency team managed to arrest Nur Hassan Abdi.

“The Dugsi teacher is accused of escaping to Dhobley in Somalia with over Sh7 million belonging to Muslim faithful who were to attend Hajj prayers last year,” read the DCI post.

MADRASSA TEACHER

A Dugsi teacher, also known as madrassa teacher, offers Islamic teachings.

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Sources close to Mr Abdi told the Nation that the man is known for being a Madrassa teacher who helps children study Islam but they were shocked when they heard that he had disappeared with people’s money.

The pilgrims, who were to travel to the Saudi holy city of Mecca, were left stranded in Eastleigh, Nairobi, in August last year after the agency owned by Mr Abdi went underground and he could not be traced.

RECEIVED MONEY

According to a press release by the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (Supkem), Mr Abdi, who worked as a Hajj agent under the name of Ithaf Hajj and Umra Agency, is said to have received money from a number of prospective pilgrims for the 2019 Hajj in Saudi Arabia but did not honour his obligations to them.

He is said to have disappeared with the victims’ passports after being paid between Sh350,000 and Sh400,000 by each prospective pilgrim.

The victims reported the matter to Pangani Police Station under the OB number 133/02/08/2019.

Supkem confirmed to the Nation that Mr Abdi and his agency had been duly registered.

But following the swindling complaints, Supkem de-registered the agency.

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