Muscat: Housewives, who are often home during morning hours, should stay alert if someone knocks at their door. It could possibly be just a beggar but at times, he could turn out to be a burglar. Never allow anyone to step inside the house. This was a cautionary warning issued by the anti-begging squad of the Ministry of Social Development to Omani citizens.
Alerting people about cases of burglars cheating by posing as beggars, the squad said: "It is a must for the nationals as well as residents, particularly housewives, who stay at home during morning hours, to remain cautious. These beggars, particularly, should not be allowed to enter the house."
"Many people have been victims of theft and burglary through such modus operandi. Do not allow your goodness and sincerity to be exploited by these beggars. Instead, they should be stopped and reported," said the statement issued by the anti-begging squad of the Ministry of Social Development recently.
The warning issued by the Ministry of Social Development was welcomed by the people, both Omanis and expatriates.
Fatima Jamal, an Egyptian housewife living in Ruwi, told the Times of Oman that the warning showed the Ministry's and the Royal Oman Police's concern about "the safety and security of our lives and property."
"I am happy they take such measures to ensure that our homes are safe even when our husbands are away for work," she said.
Monika, an Indian housewife living in Al Khuwair, said that it was good that "we have been alerted. It is important for us to follow the guidelines issued by the government. These are in our interest. This does not require any extra effort. Just don't open the door when you are sure that the visitor is someone you do not know and nobody is home to help you in case of any threat to your property. It is better to inform the police."
Kholoud, an Omani housewife in Seeb, said that in the absence of her husband who goes to work every day in a shipping company, it is she who looks after her children and the house. "I do not go out even to the nearby grocery shop alone. I have encountered beggars during Ramadan. Though none of them have knocked at the door of my house, I keep telling the caretaker of the building not to allow any beggars or strangers to enter unattended," she said.
Abdul Khaliq, a Pakistani engineer working in an automobile firm, said that allowing somebody to enter into your house when you don't know him at all can be a real threat and make one vulnerable to theft. "I have asked my wife to not to even open the door when the voice from the other side is strange, be it a beggar or a genuine visitor. Who knows what is in store on the other side," he wondered.
Recently, the Times of Oman reported about a man who ostensibly came begging but turned out to be a thief, and decamped with OMR3,750, stolen from the car parked inside the house in Al Athaiba. He had entered the property on the pretext of seeking alms.
More than a 100 people were arrested for begging during the holy month of Ramadan when the menace increases. The anti-begging squad and Royal Oman Police have intensified their campaign to curb the practice.
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