Friday, 16 Apr 2021
The Ministry of Social Development (MoSD) has said that 499 beggars were arrested in the first four months of this year. Of these, 60 beggars were Omanis including 46 men and 14 women. “Among the 439 non-Omani beggars, 285 were men,” the ministry said on its Twitter account.

499 beggars held in very first 4 months of this year: MoSD

The quantity of beggars held by the anti-begging teams of MoSD was 612 in 2015, 670 in 2016 and 1,152 in 2017.

While Oman is recognized to have significantly less beggars in comparison to other nations in the globe, MoSD information as effectively as stories from individuals who have been approached point to an improve in such circumstances.

Many who have been approached, talked to Muscat Daily about their experiences. “I’ve been approached several times over the last few weeks. They seem to choose busy commercial areas such as Ruwi, Al Khuwayr and Seeb. They approach people as they’re getting into or out of their cars. Mostly it is near ATM kiosks that either me or some people I know have been approached in the recent past,” P A stated.

Talking about her expertise, a mother of 4 stated, “As a family, leaving a mall with a cart full of groceries, it’s hard to just walk away from these beggars with a clear conscience. I think everyone should help the less fortunate but it’s hard to differentiate between scammers and those who really need help.”

She stated most of them claim to be from war-torn nations and some even ask for cash so they can have a meal. “You offer to buy them food, and they refuse. All they want is cash. I don’t know whether they’re taking advantage of the system to pocket some money, or if they’re in genuine need.”

Even at petrol pumps, numerous individuals are approached with equivalent requests. “I was recently approached at a fuel station. The young man said he needed petrol money to return to his place of residence which is several hundred kilometres away. He said he didn’t have a family or friends in Muscat who could help him,” V K stated.

“I later found out that people are often approached with a similar story. What are the odds that people from out of town fail to budget for fuel on their trips to Muscat. I suspect they’re using a loophole in the law to keep themselves out of trouble. Maybe asking for petrol money is not considered to be begging.”

To tackle this issue, MoSD, the ROP and Public Prosecution are coordinating across the nation. Temporary teams have been formed to tackle the issue in the holy month and in khareef season in Dhofar.

 

THE PENALTIES

It must not be significantly less than two months prison sentence and no much more than a year. It is accompanied by a fine that is not significantly less than RO50 and no much more than RO100 or either of these two penalties are applied. If the beggar is non-Omani, the court could, apart from the aforesaid penalty, order him to be deported. If the individual repeats the act, he shall be imprisoned for a period that is not significantly less than six months and no much more than two years.

A penalty of not significantly less than 3 months prison sentence and no much more than 3 years which includes a fine that is not significantly less than RO50 and no much more than RO100. Either of these two penalties shall be applied to any person who makes use of a juvenile for begging. The penalty stated in the earlier section shall be doubled if the individual is the juvenile’s sponsor, guardian or the a single assigned to take care of him.

(Source: MoSD)

Information Source: Muscat Daily

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