190610 beggar begging
Begging at mosques, roads, stores and public areas in Oman can lead to imprisonment for a period of one year. Photo for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: The Ministry of Legal Affairs has issued warnings on begging, which has seen an increase in recent months, local media reported.

One might be motivated to help when seeing someone come forward to seek monetary assistance but you could be encouraging a punishable offence.

Begging is not only discouraged but is considered an illegal offence in the Sultanate. With the backdrop of the current pandemic, one might think there could be several reasons why an individual would resort to begging, but it could be even a threat to the security of the country, warn authorities.

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An announcement from the ministry states that begging is a criminal and uncivilised act and it poses many risks. “Please avoid dealing with beggars in order not to promote a practice that is against the law and puts the nation at risk,” said the statement.

The ministry has alerted that using a minor or handing him to another person with an intention to involve the person in the act of begging, is a crime punishable by imprisonment for a period up to three years and a fine of one hundred Omani Rials.

The sentence is doubled if the offender is the minor’s guardian, or a person entrusted to his or her care or supervision.

“The court may confiscate the money seized from the offender and order to deport him from the country if he is a foreigner,” the statement added