Birmingham’s Hajj package tour work scoops two awards

By on 15/10/2012 in News

Birmingham Trading Standards have won two prestigious awards for their work on Hajj package tour fraud.

The City Council received awards from the Association of British Hujjaj for outstanding achievement and commitment towards community service.  A second award was given to an individual officer.

Representatives from Birmingham Trading Standards attended a Hajj and Umrah event at the House of Lords.  The ceremony was hosted by Lord Ahmed of Rotherham and Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on behalf of the Association of British Hujjaj.

Sajeela Naseer, Head of Birmingham City Council Trading Standards, received the award on behalf of the team. Mohammed Tariq, was presented with an individual award for his outstanding dedication and commitment to community service. Mr Tariq was the principal officer driving forward Birmingham's strategy for tackling rogue package tour operators.

Birmingham City Council has successfully prosecuted package tour operators for misleading and defrauding consumers in supplying Hajj and Umrah packages.

The Trading Standards team has achieved significant fines against fraudulent operators, and a 15 month custodial sentence.  The team has also instigated legal proceedings against several other tour operators.

Cllr Barbara Dring, Chair of the Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said:  “I'm very proud of the work carried out by Trading Standards. Gaining two impressive awards for their hard work is not only recognition for what they have achieved, it is also recognition for the consumers they have helped to protect.

“The real winners are Birmingham citizens, who we have protected from the terrible emotional and financial stress that come with being duped by unscrupulous operators.”

Lord Ahmed and Lord Hunt praised the team for delivering tangible results for consumers, and for its work and leadership in such a difficult and complex area of work.

Ends.

For more information contact Karen Blanchette on 0121 303 6969.

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