Many beggars involved in drugs, prostitution

The Ministry of Social Affairs has urged members of the public not to give money to beggars because these people are often involved in drug dealing, prostitution and other crimes.

Yousif Al-Siyali, director of the anti-begging directorate at the ministry, said that people should rather give their charity and Zakat to registered organizations that would distribute the money lawfully.

He said 37 percent of beggars arrested last year were under 18 years of age. Around 9,100 were minors. Ninety-two percent of those arrested were expatriates, most of whom were in violation of residency and labor laws, he said.

“We will have beggars as long as people give alms and Zakat in a random manner,” he said.
Citizens should cooperate with the anti-begging office and pay their alms to charitable societies.
He said most societies have beggars and it was difficult to eliminate this phenomenon.

He said that security agencies have confirmed that many beggars are involved in drugs and prostitution.

Al-Siyaly said the anti-begging office has special plans in place to tackle beggars during Ramadan, Umrah and Haj seasons. He said this behavior could be effectively countered with the cooperation of several government agencies.

He said the Ministries of Interior and Social Affairs, and the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice are conducting joint campaigns to arrest beggars.

Saudis found begging are referred to the Social Affairs Ministry where assistance is provided for them.

The government investigates expatriates and deports them, unless they are wanted in other cases.


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