Expat exiting sans passport ‘nonsense’

Passengers are seen at immigration counters at King Abdul Aziz International Airport.

Passengers are seen at immigration counters at King Abdul Aziz International Airport.


The Passport Department has rejected reports that an expatriate managed to leave the country without a passport from King Abdul Aziz International Airport (KAIA).

This comes in the wake of reports that an Egyptian salesman paid an Indian national $7,000 to get through all security checks in Jeddah and travel to Cairo on Sunday. The man claimed his sponsor had refused to give him his passport.

An official from the Passport Department was quoted as saying by a local publication on Wednesday that an investigation has been launched but insisted it was impossible for the man to have bypassed all the stringent checks at KAIA.

He said the department has not yet received an official report from the Egyptian authorities about the incident but described it as “nonsense.” All expatriates require official visas for entering and exiting the country, he said.

He said officials at all airports are required to go through a range of measures before issuing boarding passes to passengers, including checking the validity of tickets, visas and passports before allowing them to enter departure halls.

Passengers are not permitted to leave a departure hall under any circumstances, said the source. In the case of an emergency, a letter canceling the ticket by the airline must be provided to passport officials before the passenger can leave.

Before passengers board flights, boarding passes and passports are again verified, at which point the passenger is directed to the gate or the bus to the aircraft. The source said reports that the passenger bypassed all these procedures were “comical and untrue.”

Meanwhile, an official source at Cairo International Airport said investigations are under way into the incident. The passenger reportedly arrived in Cairo with only his Egyptian national identity card, claiming his sponsor had refused permission for him to travel, the report said.


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