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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

More than 90 beggars arrested since Ramadan began

Officers often find thousands or even tens of thousands of dirhams on suspects

Police say more than 90 beggars have been caught since Ramadan began on Thursday. Jeff Topping / The National
Police say more than 90 beggars have been caught since Ramadan began on Thursday. Jeff Topping / The National

Ninety one beggars have been arrested in Dubai and Sharjah since Thursday, police said as they warned the public not to be duped by ploys and tales of woe.

That figure compared to 154 arrests during the whole month of Ramadan last year.

Police said most were caught in markets and near mosques.

Most were found to be on visit visas, a common finding suggesting they flew into the Emirates just to make money.

Judge Ayman Abdul Hakam, who runs Dubai's One Day Court, said he has heard cases of beggars in markets caught with tens of thousands of dirhams.

“I have seen Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Indians, Egyptians and more, but lately I've noticed an increase in the number of Saudi nationals who come before me charged with begging," he said.

"The last one I saw, last week, was caught begging from Saudi passengers at the Dubai International Airport."

He said the man was spotted on occasion over the course of two weeks before he was arrested.

The judge said one memorable case was of a 58-year-old Iraqi who was seen walking around Dubai's markets, dropping into shops to ask customers and owners for money. He was arrested in the Naif area of Deira.

When police searched him, he was found with Dh90,500 in cash.

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