Following promises to pay mu’tamireen money owed to them by Saturday 17 March 2018, the co-founder and spiritual guide of Umrah Connect International, is believed to have departed for the holy lands, providing no clarity on the status of the company’s debt. After VOC News revealed how the travel operator had purportedly mismanaged its funds, the company had agreed to pay the Anthony family R31 500 and the Patel family R60 000 owed to them, after they were left stranded only days before they were scheduled to perform the spiritual journey of umrah this year.
While the Anthonys’ expect their money to be refunded by March 22 this year, Naeem Patel said Umrah Connect international had failed to fulfill its obligation and pay his family by March 17.
“I haven’t received payment as yet. According to the last interview we had and as per imam Fasiegh’s statement, payment was to be done before date of departure, which was March 17,” Patel stated.
In a brief conversation with VOC News last week, Imam Fasiegh Adams confirmed that he was scheduled to depart at 13h35 on March 17th from Cape Town International Airport. Adams said a group of 15 mu’tamireen was scheduled to travel with him on March 18th, the first of two groups traveling with the company.
Upon request for clarity on whether the Patel’s will be paid by the set date, Adams said the company was advised otherwise by its attorneys. He added that the Patel’s would receive word from the company’s attorneys by this past weekend. But the Patel’s have confirmed that they have not received any formal communication from the company.
“No communication was received from him and when we do [communicate] he does not actually take our calls. So, the only method of communication with him is via WhatsApp or SMS.”
While confirming that he will be serving the company with a summons, Patel remained doubtful that the company has assets of value.
He urged mu’tamireen to ensure that they research operators before confirming a booking for the journey, further advising people to book with agents that are located close to their place of residence.
“Regarding Umrah Connect, I would advise people to stay away from them…not to even book any Umrah packages with them. They are very unprofessional [and] very incompetent.
“I think that that company should actually close its doors and remove itself from offering that service.”
Imam Fasiegh Adams has refused to provide feedback to VOC News, stating that he will refer his attorney’s to us. To date, VOC News has not received communication from Umrah Connect International’s legal counsel. VOC 91.3fm