Jeddah: An Indian national in Saudi Arabia has allegedly duped some 500 pilgrims of nearly USD 400,000 through a fake Hajj campaign here, prompting authorities to launch a manhunt for him.
The victims of the fake scheme are all expatriates.
They were informed by the Indian in mid-September that they will have tents in Mina and receive free food and transportation. However, after collecting over 1.5 million Saudi Riyal, the man disappeared and switched his mobile off.
Victims were assured by the Saudi authorities that the man who cheated them is still in the Kingdom and cannot flee the country, Saudi Gazette reported.
Jeddah police said the man cannot leave Saudi Arabia because he has a documented case.
The police said they have contacted the Indian Embassy to inform them about the man. They said the man was hiding somewhere between Makkah and Jeddah.
"We are expatriates and are not aware of the legal procedures here," said Mohammed Shariff, one of the victims.