Dubai: An Asian female beggar was arrested in Mecca with approximately SR117,000 in her possession, in addition to cash in various foreign currencies and also gold jewellery, local media reported.
This arrest is part of the Kingdom’s campaign launched recently to crack down on beggary. In just one week, starting from March 22 to 30, Saudi Arabia arrested a total of 3,719 beggars in various parts of the country. The Saudi Public Prosecution said it is investigating the cases against each one of the arrested beggars, including men and women.
The Public Security emphasised that begging in all its forms and manifestations is illegal and banned.
It urged the public to report those found to be engaging in beggary or extending support to beggars by any means by calling 911 in the regions of Mecca and Riyadh, and 999 in all other regions of the Kingdom.
The Public Security had earlier warned that anyone who engages in beggary will be arrested and referred to competent authorities.
According to Saudi law, anyone who is caught practicing beggary, or forcing others to do so, or helping others to practice beggary will face imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or a fine not exceeding SR50,000 or both. The penalties will be doubled for those who are part of the organised beggary rackets.
Whoever engages in beggary, manages beggars, incites others, and assists beggars as part of organised rackets will be awarded with a maximum jail term of one year or fine not exceeding SR100,000 or both.