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Indian dupes 500 Haj pilgrims, on the run
Monday November 4, 2013 7:17 PM, IANS

An Indian national, who fleeced some 500 pilgrims through a fake Haj campaign in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah, is on the run.

The man told the group of 500 expatriates in mid-September that they will have tents in Mina and receive free food and transportation but after collecting over 1.5 million Saudi riyals (nearly $40,000), the man disappeared and switched his mobile phone off, the Saudi Gazette reported.

Saudi authorities, however, have assured the victims that the man who cheated them was still in Saudi Arabia and would not be able to leave the country.

The victims demanded the man who cheated them be arrested and their money returned to them.

"We are expatriates and are not aware of the legal procedures here," one of the victims was quoted as saying.

The victims of this scheme are all expatriates and the majority of them are poor.

The police said they have informed the Indian embassy in Saudi Arabia about the man and added that he was believed to be hiding somewhere between Makkah and Jeddah but would not be able to do so for long.

The Saudi Gazette report, citing a source, said that the man was previously arrested Sep 17 and detained for three days.

After being released, he ran the fake local Haj campaign and has now vanished.

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