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Police swoop on Ashton travel firm allegedly mis-selling religious pilgrimage trips to British Muslims

mis-selling

Three people have been arrested after raids at a firm believed to be fraudulently selling religious pilgrimages to British Muslims.

Police swooped in a pre-emptive move after fears dozens of who people have booked trips for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages may end up being ripped off.

Officers visited two houses in Ashton-under-Lyne in early morning raids, where they arrested two men aged 55 and a 54 year-old woman on suspicion of fraud.

They are currently in custody for questioning.

Three people have been arrested after raids at a firm believed to be fraudulently selling religious pilgrimages to British Muslims.

Police swooped in a pre-emptive move after fears dozens of who people have booked trips for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages may end up being ripped off.

Officers visited two houses in Ashton-under-Lyne in early morning raids, where they arrested two men aged 55 and a 54 year-old woman on suspicion of fraud.

They are currently in custody for questioning.

Hajj is the annual pilgrimage to Mecca which takes place in October with 25,000 Brits making the journey and is a requirement for every Muslim make the trip at least once in their lifetime.

British travellers, many elderly, spend years saving for these ‘once in a lifetime’ trips.

However, City of London Police and Birmingham Trading Standards launched a crackdown in 2013 on rogue traders. The latest raids followed months of observation and a number of complaints from customers about claims on the company’s website.

Det Sgt Kevin Ives, who led the operation, said: “Today’s warrant is part of a much larger operation to prevent people falling victim to Hajj and Umrah fraud.

“Fraudsters across the country are known to be selling fraudulent travel packages to Muslims who are often making a once in a life time pilgrimage to Mecca.

And Mohammed Tariq, from Birmingham Trading Standards, said: “If the company goes bust, or they go abroad and there is no hotel or flights have been cancelled they have no protection whatsoever.

“That’s why the ATOL licence is in place to protect the consumer.”

Source: Manchester Evening News

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