Oman


Bogus beggar in Oman steals OMR3,750


For illustrative purposes

Muscat: A man who ostensibly came begging turned out to be a thief, stealing OMR3,750 from a car after entering a house in Al Athaiba on the pretext of seeking alms.

Faisal Al Hamdi said a man in scruffy clothes rang the bell of his house around 8pm on Monday, and asked for Zakat. It is a compulsory charity that any Muslim must pay. The amount, 2.5 per cent of one's wealth, is obligatory to be paid in charities for any Muslim who can afford it.

"I went back inside the house to get the money but by the time I returned, he was gone. I found the door of my car, which was parked in my front yard, half open. He must have seen an envelope in the vehicle while he was waiting and took it away," Al Hamdi told the Times of Oman.

The cash was part of the down payment Al Hamdi was going to pay for a new car. He has now urged all residents in Muscat to keep their gates locked and install security cameras to keep an eye on anyone who calls before deciding to let them in.

"Obviously, he was not a beggar. He just needed an excuse to come inside and see what he could steal," Al Hamdi said, adding that the police were investigating the crime.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Social Development's anti-begging squad said it would intensify raids across Muscat to crack down on the practice of begging during the Holy Month of Ramadan.  

Beggars start pestering residents in shopping malls and mosques for money during this season. Some women beggars carry infants to arouse pity and collect more money. Others knock on doors, move from one to the other street, taking in hundreds of rials during the month of Ramadan.

According to the Ministry of Social Development, more than 500 beggars were caught last year.

To get in touch: saleh@timesofoman.com

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