200 Muslims victims of fake pilgrimage

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Some 200 Muslims on Monday trooped to the Manila Police District (MPD) headquarters on United Nations Avenue to file complaints against three persons who allegedly took their money but failed to provide them travel documents for Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

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The suspects — Salamah Dibarusan, Alma Carreon and Usman Adel Tah — were charged before the Manila Prosecutor’s Office with violating the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act and estafa. They were arrested on Monday.

Mohammad Imam Manda, 54, said he was contacted by the three suspects and was asked to recruit individuals to join the hajj pilgrimage.

“Some of us paid P5,000 cash. Others already paid P75,000. But usually, the [cost of the]pilgrimage is pegged at P50,000,” Manda told The Manila Times. Most of the victims were from Mindanao.

He said the suspects may have duped them of some P10 million.

Police Officer 3 Alonso Layugan of the MPD-General Assignment Section said four of the victims are from Quiapo, Manila.

The victims said they were told by the suspects to be in Quiapo on August 24, the day they were supposed to leave for Mecca.

“But we were surprised to discover that we have no documents or plane tickets,” they added.

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