Hajj 2018: Saudi ‘Tukari’ on the prowl defrauding Nigerian pilgrims, NAHCON raise alarm

Pilgrims queuing up to board aircraft for 2014 Hajj.
Pilgrims queuing up to board aircraft for 2014 Hajj.

National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, has raised the alarm over fraudulent activities perpetrated by some unscrupulous expatriates, popularly known as ‘Tukari’ on Nigerian pilgrims in Madinah, Saudi Arabia.

DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the pilgrims, especially women, are reportedly duped by the expatriates in the course of visitation guides, money exchange and fixing of gold/silver tooth.

However, in a circular, dated August 7 and signed by the Madinah Coordinator of NAHCON, Maigari Ahmad, the commission had expressed displeasure over the unfortunate development.

“It has come to the notice of the commission of the existence of some unscrupulous elements at the accommodation of Nigerian pilgrims in Madinah.

“In view of the foregoing, I am directed to draw the attention of state officials to be very vigilant on the following categories who disguise and super pilgrims, namely, visitation guides, money exchange operators (black market) and fixing of fold/silber teeth,” says the circular

The commission also banned what it referred to as “illegal food vendors” from gaining access to the pilgrims’ accommodation.

In the same vein, a female cleric, Rahma Sani, during a meeting with the National Ulama Team with NAHCON officials in Madinah on Wednesday, lamented that the ‘Tukari’ had become nuisance to pilgrims.

According to her, the expatriates had employed certain tricks with the aim of defrauding pilgrims, especially women, noting that indulging on the unfortunate practice of fixing of gold/silver tooth was the cause of their travails.

She, therefore, called on NAHCON officials to be up and doing, urging other clerics to give more enlightenment to the pilgrims on the practice of the tooth fixing.

She also emphasized on the need for more enlightenment and preaching on how to perform acceptable Hajj rites.

Responding, the head of Civic Education of NAHCON, Madinah office, Umar Bala said the commission is worried about the problems and is doing its best to tackle it.

He also emphasized the need for state officials to be extra vigilant to address the problem, as they are closer to the pilgrims.