On Thursday, local media reported that authorities in the Holy City of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, confiscated more than 400 packets of holy Zamzam, which were suspected of being fake and undrinkable.
According to city officials, the bottles were stored in conditions that didn’t meet standards and violated hygiene rules. It was further explained that the bottles were filled with water of unknown origin and labelled as Zamzam water.
But fortunately, the city municipals managed to find and destroy them before they circulated and sold in the local market. Strict legal action will be taken against the violators to prevent similar incidents from repeated.
The Saudi authorities in Makkah have recently maximized monitoring works in preparations for Ramadan, which is expected to begin on April 2 this year.
The demand for the availability of Zamzam water during the holy month of Ramadan often experiences a drastic increase. Ramadan, which is usually the peak season for Umrah and lesser pilgrimages, is used by foreign pilgrims to buy more zam-zam water to offer holy water as gifts to relatives and friends after returning home.
This very lucrative market potential is used by several parties to do illicit business, namely by mixing zam-zam water with ordinary mineral water.
For years, the Saudi government has warned Hajj and Umrah pilgrims not to buy bottled Zamzam from street vendors and unlicensed shops to avoid counterfeit products.
The government has also made further efforts to stop the black market of Zamzam water in the region. It is done to ensure that pilgrims get pure Zamzam water.
The government enforces regulations by only permitting authorized shops to sell Zamzam water. The Saudi government only gave permission for the National Water Company (NWC) to distribute the distribution of Zamzam water, which was five litres for one pilgrim in accordance with the cargo load allowed on the plane.
Packaging was carried out by Raja Abdullah’s Zamzam Water Project company. Every day, this company produces 5,000 cubics Zamzam and 200 thousand plastic bottles containing 5 litres of water.