UAE: New law targets beggars with heavy fines and jail time

The UAE has passed an anti-begging Federal Law, which punishes anyone caught begging in the country with a Dh5,000 fine and up to three months in prison, announced the Federal National Council (FNC) on Tuesday.

The council said that the new law, which comes ahead of the holy month of Ramadan, aims to put an end to beggary.

Those who operate gangs of beggars will get a prison sentence of not less than six months as well as a minimum fine of Dh100,000. Similar punishments will be given to those who recruit workers as beggars.

Moreover, anyone who is caught begging, yet is proven to have an income and is in good shape and health, will receive the maximum punishment that is possible. Maximum punishment will also be handed to those who use any forms of scams to deceive the public and play with their emotions, including faking disabilities or injuries.

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Just last month, the UAE saw its first case of exploitation of people of determination for begging by an Asian national, who forced 15 male victims into begging.

The Sharjah Prosecution charged the man with human trafficking in accordance with Federal Law No. 51 of 2006 combating human trafficking crimes, as amended by Federal Law No. 1 of 2015.

Last year, the Ministry of Interior launched a nationwide programme to curb begging ahead of Ramadan. The campaign, titled “Fight begging and help those who are deserving,” saw the arrests of hundreds of people caught begging in the country.

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The ministry said that beggars try to deceive people by appealing to their emotions, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan. In the first half of Ramadan last year, the Abu Dhabi Police arrested 207 beggars, while at least 65 beggars, including 10 women, were caught in Dubai.

 

Source Credit: Khaleej Times

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