£100K to tackle Hajj pilgrimage cowboy travel agents

Birmingham City Council has been awarded £100,000 to help them become the UK's national lead tackling cowboy travel agents taking advantage of Muslims doing the Hajj pilgrimage.

The government wants them to replicate their success in other cities with high Muslim populations, to combat what is often a significantly under-reported crime.

Thousands of Muslims across the world flock to Mecca, where the most sacred sites in Islam exist, to perfom their Hajj pilgrimage. Credit: PA

The largest gathering of Muslims in the world each year, Hajj is a pilgrimage that all adult Muslims are required to make at least once in their lives, if they are physically and financially able to do so.

Tens of thousands of British Muslims will have booked trips to Saudi Arabia in October to make the pilgrimage.

However, some of these will unfortunately find that the once-in-a-lifetime trips they have booked will not live up to expectations - either due to sub-standard hotels and travel arrangements or the flights, accommodation and visas they paid for turning out not to exist.