35 patrols to nab beggars during Ramadan in Qatar

DOHA: The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at the Ministry of Interior plans to deploy 35 police patrolling teams across the city to crack down on beggars during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

More than 280 beggars including men and women were arrested last year.

The patrolling teams comprising men and women police officers will be deployed at potential places round-the-clock to curb this illegal practice, said Brigadier Jamal Mohammad Al Kaabi, Head of CID.

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Other security agencies will be coordinating with the Department to catch the beggars. Two hotlines — 33618627 and 2347444 — have been set up for citizens and expatriates to inform the authorities concerned about the beggars, said Al Kaabi.

He said begging is not a phenomenon that is common in Qatar.

However, some people enter the country especially during Ramadan with the intention of begging, with innovated ideas for exploiting the sympathy of the people.

They narrate false stories and produce fake medical reports seeking money. Some of them also ask for contributions for building mosques and schools or sponsor orphans in their countries. Some beggars were caught selling substandard products as a ploy for begging, said Al Kaabi.

More than 280 beggars were caught last year at mosques, shopping complexes, popular markets and residential areas, said First Lieutenant Abdullah Saad Al Dosari, a senior official at the Anti-Begging Department at CID. Legal action will be taken against those caught indulging in this illegal practice, he added.

Citizens and expatriates have been advised to give donations only to authorized charity organizations so that they could distribute them to the most deserving sections.