190610 beggar begging
Image for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Dubai Police have arrested the parents of a boy who was forced to pose as a blind child and beg in the street for up to six hours a day during Ramadan, an official has said.

Brigadier Jamal Salem Al Jallaf, director of the Criminal Investigation Department of Dubai Police, said the Asian parents also forced their two daughters to beg during the Holy Month across different parts of the emirate.

“During the anti-begging campaign by Dubai Police, an officer spotted a seven-year-old boy sitting on the pavement and looking to the sky in a strange way,” said Al Jallaf. “The officer asked him if he need anything and the child claimed that he is blind.”

The boy was confused but the officer left him and kept monitoring him from a distance until he saw a man come to pick him up from the street.

They threatened him with physical assault if he didn’t pose as a blind child and sit for hours under the sun to trick people... Those parents had no mercy on their children. They also forced the boy’s two sisters to beg for long hours.

- Brig Jamal Salem Al Jallaf, Director of CID, Dubai Police

“To our surprise the boy’s parents were forcing him to beg,” added Al Jallaf. “They threatened him with punishment and physical assault if he didn’t pose as blind child and sit for long hours under the strong sun to trick people.”

Al Jallaf said they were further shocked when they discovered that the Asian parents were also forcing their two daughters to do the same in other areas of the emirate.

“Those parents have no mercy on their children,” said Al Jallaf. “They forced the boy and his two sisters to beg for long hours. Parents were arrested and legal action will be taken against them,” he added.

At the beginning of Ramadan, police warned the public against falling prey to tricks employed by beggars during the Holy Month both online or in the streets.

“Beggars use different styles every year, like pretending to be poor or sick. Those parents used an ugly way to beg,” said Al Jallaf.

During the anti-begging campaign, Dubai Police arrested 128 beggars in total, with a total amount on them of around Dh38,000.

According to Article nine of the UAE Federal Law for 2018, beggars can face jail of up to three months and a Dh5,000 fine.

Anyone running an organised begging network can get six months in jail and a fine of up to Dh100,000.