The Passport Department has launched an extensive campaign to crack down on the increased practice of begging during Ramadan.
The Passport Department has increased its staff and has been out in full force to implement anti-begging laws, patrol and arrest anyone found begging on the streets or in front of supermarkets and shopping centers, regardless of gender or age.
“Most of these beggars are expats who have purposely gained entry into the Kingdom to come to Jeddah and the two holy cities of Makkah and Madinah to take advantage of unsuspecting people who want to give charity during Ramadan,” Mohammed Al-Hussein, spokesman of the Passport Department in the Makkah province, said.
As part of their new campaign, the spokesman said, the Passport Department is currently cooperating with the committee for countering negative phenomena.
“Many of the beggars belong to begging rings that work as teams to bring in massive financial gains, amounting to hundreds of thousands of riyals being given to illegal expats,” Al-Hussein confirmed. The Passport Department in the Jazan province, where many illegal workers and beggars initially gain entry into the Kingdom, has also been stepping up efforts to catch entrants before they make it to major cities. It recently deported as many as 23,122 people.
“We found that various nationalities were in violation of up to 48 offenses, and that the majority of the expats were trying to travel to Jeddah ahead of Ramadan last week,” Maj. Ali Al-Qahtani, director of arrivals at the Passport Department in Jazan, said in a statement.
Director of the Jazan Passport Department Brig. Daifallah bin Sattam Al-Huwaifi called for continuous cooperation and coordination with security sectors. He commended the Kingdom's security sector for already having a deep positive impact by facilitating deportation proceedings.
He also thanked Al-Qahtani and the employees of the department of arrivals for their “outstanding efforts.”