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Dubai Police Detain 967 Beggars, Street vendors, Illegal workers since Ramadan

Begging is prohibited under Federal Law No. 9 of 2018 on Combating Begging

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on April 30, 2024, 12:26:50

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ramadan, begging in dubai, beggars, dubai police

Since initiating its "Anti-begging" campaign during Ramadan, Dubai Police has detained 396 beggars, 292 street vendors, and 279 undocumented workers. According to the police, 99 per cent of the arrested beggars perceive begging as a 'profession'.

Brigadier Ali Salem Al Shamsi, Director of the Suspects and Criminal Phenomena Department in the General Department of Criminal Investigation, emphasised the police's commitment to educating the community about the hazards of begging. He highlighted increased vigilance during Ramadan and holidays due to beggars' attempts to elicit sympathy during these periods.

Al Shamsi pointed out that these offenders are commonly found in residential and commercial areas, places of worship, and that street vendors employ various tactics to garner sympathy. He warned against purchasing items from street vendors, citing potential threats to community safety, particularly with regards to food and goods of dubious origins and quality.

The presence of beggars, street vendors, and undocumented workers poses security risks and tarnishes the state's reputation, Al Shamsi added, noting their potential links to serious crimes such as theft, pickpocketing, and the exploitation of vulnerable individuals.

Begging is prohibited under Federal Law No. 9 of 2018 on Combating Begging, Al Shamsi reiterated. Recently, Dubai Police apprehended two women with significant sums of cash obtained solely through begging.

In the past four years, Dubai Police have detained 1,701 beggars, with nearly 500 arrests in 2023 alone, indicating the escalating nature of the issue.

Begging is punishable by a fine of Dh5,000 and three months' imprisonment in the UAE. Those involved in organised begging or recruiting individuals from abroad face stiffer penalties of a six-month jail term and a Dh100,000 fine. Unauthorised fundraising carries fines of up to Dh500,000.

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