Beggin’, beggin’ you! 150 beggars arrested in Riyadh crackdown
A driver hands money to beggars in Riyadh. (AFP/File)
A total of 150 beggars have been arrested in the Eastern Province and Riyadh over the past few weeks, according to the police in both regions.
In Riyadh, 90 beggars, including 34 children, were arrested in the first four days of Ramadan, the police reported Monday. The individuals were of various nationalities and age groups.
In the Eastern Province, about 60 beggars were arrested in raids, including three Saudis, said Abdullatif Al-Naeem, director of the anti-begging committee. He said the Labor and Social Development Ministry has plans, with other government agencies, to combat the practice.
Al-Naeem said that there is a significant increase in begging every Ramadan because of the tendency of Muslims to be more charitable, so inspections are intensified near traffic lights, mosques, public gardens, markets and ATM machines to arrest beggars.
He said the government is working with private charities to create awareness about the negative effects of begging, and provide training for young Saudis in preparation to find work.
By Mohammed Rasooldeen