Muscat: More than a thousand people, including children, were detained last year on begging charges.
The anti-begging phenomenon team at the Ministry of Social Development, in cooperation with other agencies and civil society organisations, managed to detain 1,152 beggars in various governorates of the Sultanate in 2017.
The number included 175 children under the age of 18.
Also, the ministry carried out more than 2,000 anti-begging campaigns that year, in which 225 Omani and 927 beggars of other nationalities were arrested.
Article 297 of the new Omani Penal Code says that the convict shall be punished by imprisonment for a period of not less than one month and not more than one year, and a fine of not less than OMR50 and not more than OMR100, or one of these.
Of the 225 Omani beggars arrested, 152 were men and 73 were women. The report confirmed: “These detainees were taken in accordance with the specificity of each beggar. In the case of Omani beggars, 165 were released by the guardian.”
Also, in cases of beggars of other nationalities, 730 were transferred to the police, 195 beggars were evicted by the sponsor’s pledge, and two were referred to the labour inspection team.