Screengrab of police video depicting beggar counting money after harassing motorists in parking lot Image Credit: Screenshot

Abu Dhabi: Ramadan has seen the sudden appearance of dozens of beggars across the capital, with many approaching motorists and residents nears mosques and shopping centres.

Abu Dhabi Police have therefore once again warned residents not to fall prey to the fabricated stories shared by beggars to gain sympathy, and to avoid donating money and items to them.

Don't fall prey

“Many beggars use these tricks to collect a huge fortune, and they do this by taking advantage of worshippers’ generosity during Ramadan. This is why we urge residents not to entertain beggars, and to make all donations through registered charities,” police said.

A video clip shared by police shows abaya-clad women harassing motorists in a bid to obtain alms.

Fines and jail terms

The police also issued a reminder about the fines that are applicable.

A Dh5,000 fine, with a maximum jail sentence of three months, is imposed for begging, with certain factors considered to be aggravating circumstances that increase penalties. These include instances in which an individual chooses to beg despite having a livelihood or despite being in good health, or if the individual fakes an injury or disability to gain sympathy, or makes false promises of performing a service in return for the donation.

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The penalties for organised begging activity are much harsher. A Dh10,000 fine, and a minimum jail term of six months, is imposed on every individual who is found to be a part of an organised begging ring, and also on people who recruit others with the intention of having them participate in a begging ring. If the individual is a guardian or custodian of another beggar, this is also considered to be an aggravating circumstance with harsher penalties.