By Biodun Busari
Dubai Police arrested a beggar posing as an amputee hiding Dh300,000 cash in fake artificial legs on Thursday.
The man who entered the United Arab Emirates with a visit visa was caught where he was begging for alms near mosques and in residential areas, but has been referred to Dubai Public Prosecution, Gulf News reports.
On Thursday, Dubai Police warned the public not to be fooled by beggars who deploy various tricks to seek their sympathy.
In another incident, police caught three beggars with Dh70,000, Dh46,000 and Dh44,000 in cash on them.
Police also got a call from an Asian woman who had entered the country on a one-month visit visa, saying Dh100,000 was stolen from her.
According to Gulf News, investigations revealed that the woman received this amount from begging,
Brigadier General Saeed Suhail Al Ayali, Deputy Director of the General Department of Criminal and Investigations for Administration and Control Affairs, during a press conference in Dubai Police headquarters, lamented that foreign nationals in UAE are engaging in begging to survive.
“Around 90 per cent of arrested beggars are visitors and they come during Ramadan for easy money as they know the UAE is a rich country and people here always want to help. We have a team of officers to crack down on beggars,” said Al Ayali.
Al Ayali, stressed that begging for alms is an anti-civilisational phenomenon infiltrating society and usually rises during the holy month of Ramadan.
He urged people not to be deceived by beggars as begging can lead to other crimes such as burglary and exploiting children, the elderly and people of determination to raise money illegally.
“Most beggars are fraudsters, they come during Ramadan on a visit visa and loiter around mosques. Don’t sympathise with them, instead give your help or money to charity organisations in the country,” the official said.
The public has also been warned against begging on social media. “People should be careful when they receive messages or posts on social networks regarding poor people who need help as most of it is not true or is just another scam.”
As part of an anti-begging campaign during Ramadan, the police have divided the city into different zones based on the concentration of beggars in an area.
“We have divided the city into zones, more patrols will be sent to hot zones,” he added.
Teams from Dubai Municipality, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) Dubai and Al Awqaf will help police in the crackdown against beggars.
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