Sharjah Police arrest 470 beggars ahead of Ramadan

Sharjah Police arrest 470 beggars ahead of Ramadan

Sharjah - Most of them came to the UAE on visit visas ahead of Ramadan to cash in on the generosity of people.


Afkar Ali Ahmed

Published: Wed 16 May 2018, 8:36 PM

Last updated: Thu 17 May 2018, 2:08 AM

* Mohammed Nouf, who has an amputated hand, arrived from Pakistan in the UAE on April 27, after a man offered him a job that he said he could perform even with his deformity. Nouf lost his hand during a terror attack in Balochistan. Before the tragic turn of events, Nouf was earning a decent salary as an accountant at a plastic company. He was diligent and never sought help from anyone, including his own family. But all that changed following the attack. After his arms were severed, he found himself in a miserable state without a job. It was then that a man approached him and tricked him into begging in the UAE. "I don't have a choice. I had to beg because I couldn't go anywhere and didn't know who to contact to get out of the mess," he shared.

* Hamza Ali, from Syria, was persuaded to beg since he was reeling under acute poverty. While he was in Jordan, he met a person who convinced him that begging in the UAE during Ramadan could help him earn a quick buck to start a business and sustain his family. "I decided to come to UAE and arrived here 45 days ago. I managed to collect almost Dh15, 000 by begging, which was taken by the man who provides me with shelter and food. He promised to give me the cash when I leave the country two days before my visa expires," Ali said.

*Another beggar, who escaped from his employer two years ago, said he survived on what he earned from begging, which was more than the salary he used to get while he was working as a watchman in a farm in Al Dhaid. He said he becomes more active during this time of the year because it is the season for giving charity.

The story is almost the same, only the faces change.

They are among the 470 beggars arrested by the Sharjah Police in a major crackdown. Most of them came to the UAE on visit visas from various Arab and Asian countries ahead of Ramadan to cash in on the generosity of people during the holy month.

During the operation, the police also busted a gang who brought 14 people - including Mohammed Nouf- with amputated hands to the country. The gang members - who were from an Asian country - were referred to the public prosecution for legal action.
All the beggars are being provided shelter and will be taken care of till they are deported to their respective countries.
Col. Ibrahim Al Ajill, director of CID at Sharjah Police, said some of the beggars were found to be working on their own, while most of them were brought here by gangs.
He pointed out that the police officers carried out the Ramadan run-up campaign mostly in commercial zones, markets, residential and industrial areas of the emirate.
"Police are making huge efforts to control those begging in places such as traffic signals, mosques, markets and parking spaces in shops and malls," he added.
He stressed that begging is against the law and people must report such activities on 901 or 065943210 rather than sympathising with them. The Sharjah Police regularly launch awareness campaigns among community members to combat such crimes and activities. He warned public against beggars and mobile vendors who move door-to-door pestering families for donations.

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