Police warn against begging after Dh300,000 found in man's artificial limbs

Dubai force launches annual campaign before Ramadan

More than 1,700 beggars have been arrested in the emirate in the past three years. Photo: Dubai Police
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Dubai Police are stepping up efforts to combat begging during Ramadan after they caught a man hiding more than Dh300,000 in his artificial limbs last year.

The force said they have come across some startling cases.

“One beggar was found hiding Dh300,000 in his artificial limbs,” said Brig Saeed Al Ayali, deputy director of administration and control at Dubai Police’s General Department of Criminal Investigation.

“Another was caught with Dh100,000, while a third had Dh70,000 he collected from begging.”

According to the police, 1,700 beggars have been arrested in the past three years.

In 2022, 604 were caught during Ramadan, while 458 were held in 2021 and there were 416 in 2020.

“About 90 per cent of the beggars caught had come to the country on visit visas just before Ramadan to take advantage of people's sense of giving during the holy month," Brig Al Ayal said.

During a press conference on Thursday to announce the force’s annual anti-begging scheme, police warned the public to be cautious and not to give money to beggars, who mostly frequent mosques, markets, residential neighbourhoods, Ramadan tents and car parks.

“Begging can lead to other crimes such as burglary and exploiting children, the elderly and people of determination to raise money illegally,” he said.

The drive aims to make sure donations reach those who need them most.

“The campaign neither contradicts the true values of Islam nor the generosity of the UAE. It ensures aid and assistance reach the rightful people,” Brig Al Ayali said.

Public members are urged to report beggars on the streets and those asking for money online to the force’s call centre (901) or the Police Eye smart service or via the E-crime platform.

Last year, Dubai Police received 2,235 reports from members of the public related to begging.

Updated: March 17, 2023, 8:17 AM