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Begging on the rise in Oman

Police warn housewives not to open doors as thieves pose as beggars

Staff Report
14:06 August 5, 2012

Muscat: The Royal Oman Police (ROP) has warned residents to be wary of thieves posing as beggars who target housewives who are alone at home during the day.

“Do not open doors to beggars as thieves could be targeting your house,” a spokesperson for the ROP said in a statement issued here on Sunday. He said that the anti-begging department at the Ministry of Social Development (MoSD) had registered 263 cases of begging in the first six months of this year.

The police spokesperson urged the people to help control the rising incidence of begging, especially during Ramadan. The spokesperson added that some even use children in asking for alms.

“People in the country are requested to cooperate with the authorities to eliminate this practice by reporting cases of begging,” he appealed.

He further said that it was the whole community’s responsibility to protect children and prevent from them being used for begging.

In June alone, 33 offenders were caught and prosecuted. The MoSD has stationed anti-begging squads throughout Oman to check the menace.

“Some of the beggars resort to fraud in order to draw sympathy and convince people that they deserve charity and assistance,” the spokesperson warned.