The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Abuja has disclosed that passengers whose visas were cancelled two days ago didn’t fulfil the entry conditions and requirements in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations of the kingdom, as they submitted incorrect information to obtain a category of visa that doesn’t apply to them, which was discovered upon arrival.
In a statement by the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Abuja on Wednesday, it stated that it had to make clarification about the media reports and social media releases concerning the deportation of Nigerian citizens at the point of entry into the kingdom.
“The passengers whom were denied entry and subsequently deported to their initial destination didn’t fulfill the entry conditions and requirements in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations of the kingdom, as they submitted incorrect information to obtain a category of visa that doesn’t apply to them, which was discovered upon arrival.
“The Royal Embassy would like to stress the importance of following the procedures and laws enacted by the kingdom of Saudi Arabia for all visitors.
“Furthermore, all passengers should review all the documents to determine their conformity with the conditions prior departing from their countries to the kingdom. This procedure was not limited to Nigerian citizens only, but rather to citizens of other countries,” the statement read.
BusinessDay had reported that Saudi Arabia has cancelled the visa of all the 264 passengers airlifted by Nigeria’s major carrier, Air Peace on arrival in Jeddah from Kano on Monday and insisted that the airline should return them back to Nigeria.
The flight took off from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos via the Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano on Sunday night and arrived in Saudi Arabia’s major city on Monday without issues but on landing, the Saudi Arabia authorities announced that all the passengers visas were cancelled.
A source who is familiar with the matter said that all the passengers and the airline personnel were shocked at the cancellation of the visas because during check in of the passengers they went through Advanced Passengers Prescreening System (APPS), which were also monitored by the Saudi Arabia authorities before the flight left Nigeria.