Beggar making Dh100,000 per month in Dubai arrested

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He was caught in Dubai's Al Quoz Area.

An Asian beggar on visit visa, who was found to have made a whopping Dh100,000 in just a month, was recently arrested in Dubai's Al Quoz area. This was revealed during the launch of an anti-begging campaign by the Dubai Police on Saturday.

"Most of the beggars come on visit visas and some are brought by tourist companies who are supposed to check on people before bringing them here," said Brigadier Abdel Hameed Abdulla Al Hashimi, acting-director of police stations. He added that if the beggar caught is found from a tourist company, the firm will be fined Dh2,000 and if it repeats the action, it will be blacklisted.

Talking about the newly-launched anti-begging campaign, Brigadier Al Hashimi said that the drive is aimed at nabbing beggars and cracking down on begging during the holy month of Ramadan. The campaign - themed as 'Together Against Begging' - seeks participation of the people and urges them to report any such practice on hotline 901.

The campaign is being spearheaded by the Dubai Police, in cooperation with the government and local authorities. As part of the crackdown, security and civilian patrols will be carried out to combat begging, particularly in areas where beggars are concentrated, including markets, residential areas, Ramadan tents, places of worship and parking spots.

Brigadier Al Hashimi said that begging is a negative phenomenon, which proliferates during the month of Ramadan when beggars cash in on people's sentiments. "The police have been striving to fight begging with intensified efforts and cooperation from the department of Islamic Affairs, General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) and the Dubai Municipality," he pointed out. He added that apart from the Asian beggar who was caught with Dh100,000, the police also recently arrested a woman who was begging, carrying a small child and a newborn baby.

Mohammed Mehdi Al Suwaidi of the department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities said that there are 17 charitable societies in Dubai where the public can direct beggars for help. He said that residents and people who are in dire need should contact charities and philanthropists who wouldn't hesitate to help needy citizens holding resident visas.

He said that the authorities concerned study each case and they have checked more than 40,000 cases of residents till now. If their need is justified, they are provided aid. "Begging is punishable by law. Many beggars have been recently caught by Dubai Police, DNRD and police patrols. A special team of woman cops has been monitoring female beggars in public places, especially in shopping areas," he added. 

According to statics released by the Dubai Police, the number of beggars arrested has been declining over the years. As many as 243 beggars were nabbed in 2018, which included 136 men and 107 women. In 2017, 653 beggars were arrested, 1,021 in 2016 and 1,405 in 2015.

Amira Agarib

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