Witnesses testify in ‘umrah’ travel agency’s fraud hearing

Witnesses testify in ‘umrah’ travel agency’s fraud hearing

A follow-up hearing of an umrah (minor haj) travel scam involving tours and travel company First Travel was held on Monday at the Depok District Court in West Java.

Five witnesses, comprising four agents and one would-be umrah pilgrim, conveyed their testimonies against three defendants, namely Andika Surachman, Anniesa Hasibuan and Siti Nuraidah “Kiki” Hasibuan, in the hearing.

“Seven witnesses were summoned to give their testimonies in today’s hearing, but only five of them were ready to attend the hearing,” prosecutor Heri Jerman told journalists as quoted by tribunnews.com in Depok on Monday.

Personnel from the women’s police corps (Polwan) were seen on guard in and around the courtroom when the hearing kicked off at 10 a.m. local time. A number of victims of the umrah scam case attended the hearing.

As reported earlier, Andika, Anniesa and Kiki Hasibuan were accused of having committed fraud against 63,310 customers who had bought umrah travel packages from their company.

The three defendants were also charged with having misused Rp 905 billion (US$63.35 million) worth umrah funds paid by the would-be pilgrims. (gis/ebf)