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Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Cairo: Calls for financial help on social media is an offence punishable by a fine of SR50,000 or jail for six months in Saudi Arabia, a lawyer has warned.

“Pleas launched on social media is named electronic begging,” lawyer Sara Al Harbi told Saudi television Al Ekhbariya.

She explained that Saudi law illegalises such pleas and considers them a sort of begging.

“The beggar and the one helping him/her faces the penalty of six-month imprisonment or a fine of 50,000 riyals. Fines double on repetition,” she added.

Foreign offenders face deportation after serving the term in Saudi Arabia and are barred from re-entry.

The lawyer cited legal charity platforms in Saudi Arabia ensuring donations are given to those who really need them.

Saudi authorities have urged citizens and expatriates to use legal channels for donation.

Last year, Saudi Arabia launched the state-sponsored platform Ihsan (Charity) allowing would-be benefactors to make donations via smartphone apps and choose preferred categories of assistance.