(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) About 30 people have been caught for begging since the beginning of Ramadan this year
Those arrested include Omanis and foreigners, some of whom have come to the sultanate only to make easy money by taking advantage of people's spirit of giving during the holy month.
Most were found begging outside mosques in Seeb, Bausher, old Muscat and Muttrah.
Abdullah bin Khalfan al Talei, chairman of the anti-begging department under the Ministry of Social Development (MoSD) said, ''There are several people who come to Oman on a visit visa to beg. Among those caught was a woman with a baby who had come from a neighbouring country. She confessed that she has seen her countrymen make good money by begging in Oman.''
Talei added, ''There are many from neighbouring countries who look like us, sport turbans and dishdashas and can speak our language fluently, which makes people mistake them for Omanis. There are some who carry knives and we have to be careful.'' He added that the number of beggars is far less this year because of awareness among people and stricter visa processes.
Ali Abdullah al Hdifi, the director of the committee said that Buraimi, Sohar and Salalah have centres for those arrested and special Ramadan camps of committee officials have been set up in Sur, Nizwa and Ibra.
''There have been no begging cases in these parts during the year, but in Ramadan people beg because it is an easy means of income for them.''
He added that because of Khareef season and Ramadan, Salalah sees several cases, and that reports are being collected for figures. ''We will also increase the number of department staff as well as set up more centres in other parts of the country,'' said Hdifi.&nb