By Zainab Al Nasseri — MUSCAT: Feb. 8 – A total of 54 beggars — 12 Omanis and 42 expatriates — were caught in December 2016 during the campaigns conducted by the Ministry of Social Development teams. Out of the 54, 35 were males and 19 females. The campaigns, which totalled 158, covered Muscat, Seeb, Batinah South and North, Dhofar and Buraimi. The beggars were in the age group 12 to 60 years. While 22 were in the age group 18 to 40 years, another 22 were aged between 40 and 60 years. Some were aged 12 to 18 years.
Seven Omanis were released based on a letter of ‘self-undertaking’, 23 expats were released after an undertaking from their sponsors. Five Omanis and 19 expats were referred to the police. Article 234 of Omani Penal law says: “Whoever is caught begging on public roadways, places and supermarkets shall be sentenced to either one or both of these two penalties: prison for not less than two months and not more than a year, and a fine of not less than RO 50 and not more than RO 100.”