Dubai: Family on visit visa arrested after being caught begging near mosque during Ramadan

As many as 116 beggars — including 59 men and 57 women — were arrested in the emirate in the first half of the holy month

By Web Desk

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Published: Sat 15 Apr 2023, 12:25 PM

Last updated: Sun 16 Apr 2023, 12:08 AM

A family, who had come to the UAE on visit visas, was among over a hundred beggars caught in Dubai as the police cracked down on panhandling during the holy month of Ramadan.

The two brothers, along with their wives and a child, were spotted near a mosque, begging for alms — even claiming that they were disabled, according to the Dubai Police.

Maj-Gen Jamal Salem Al Jallaf, director of the General Department of Criminal Investigation, said they were clearly using "deceptive and theatrical gestures" to fool people into giving them money, exploiting residents' generosity during the holy month. Police officers immediately arrested them, he added.

Maj-Gen Al Jallaf said as many as 116 beggars were nabbed during the first half of Ramadan. They included 59 men and 57 women, who were caught with various sums of money.

The top official reiterated the police's warning to the public: Never respond to beggars' pleas, as investigations have proven that most of them are part of a syndicate operated from outside the country. Many are flown in on visit visas specifically to beg on the streets.

Begging is a crime in the UAE. Maj-Gen Al Jallaf encouraged the public to report beggars through the call centre 901, the Dubai Police's 'Eye' platform on its smart app, or through the e-crime service.

Those who wish to help the needy are advised to make donations only to authorised channels. The officer explained that there are official entities, charitable organisations, and associations to which anyone in need can turn for financial assistance.

Col Ali Salem Al Shamsi, director of the Infiltrators Control Department in the General Department of Criminal Investigations, said that the police will continue to ramp up patrol operations in areas where beggars are expected to be found.

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