Some of the kola nuts and other items seized by authorities at the Hajj Village in Tamale Saudi immigration authorities have seized volumes of kola nuts and suspected bleaching creams and lotions from Ghanaian pilgrims who arrived in that county to perform this year’s hajj.
Authorities detected the items and confiscated same while taking the luggage of the pilgrims through immigration checks at the Madina Airport. The Saudi government in its guidelines for this year’s hajj banned the importation of kola nuts as well as pornographic materials into that country.
It warned to deal with ruthlessly with violators in strict accordance with the laws of Saudi Arabia. Would-be Ghanaian pilgrims were accordingly advised against any attempt to take along with them such materials but it appeared some of them were adamant. According to the Pilgrims Affairs of Ghana, some Ghanaians managed to conceal the substances to outwit Ghanaian authorities but were detected upon arrival in Madina. “Immigration at that Airport has seized volumes of Cream lotions and variety of pomade from Ghanaian Pilgrims upon all the cautions and sensitisation from the Hajj Committee,” it said in a statement issued Sunday. Some of the banned items retrieved from would be pilgrims in Tamale Communications Director of PAOG, Mohammed Amin Lamptey, later told 3News Sunday that fortunately, those who had in their possession the banned items were not arrested. He explained that items were even confiscated at the blind-side of the pilgrims who only realised when they had their luggage delivered to them. Creams, lotions had pornographic packaging Asked why the Saudi authorities will seize creams and lotions he said: “Those were bleaching pomade that have packages that display nude pictures. These are the things they just don’t want to entertain. Authorities in Ghana have consequently heightened their checks, leading to the seizure of kola nuts from the third batch of would-be pilgrims at Hajj Village in Tamale. He wondered why upon all the sensitisation some of the people still concealed kola nuts and other materials that are prohibited and took same to Saudi.
“You sensitive them but they end up taking some of those things there,” he told 3News. The PAOG has advised those who are yet to leave for Saudi Arabia to desist from taking along such prohibited and restricted items to “save money and their dignity” Meanwhile, the third batch of would-be pilgrims left the Tamale International airport for Saudi Arabia 2:30am Sunday and are expected to arrive by midday. The last flight from Tamale will be on Monday, August 22.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Gh