JEDDAH — The Criminal Investigation Division (CID) arrested one of the most infamous begging gang leaders in Jeddah. After tracking a group of beggars, police arrested Khalid Ali, a Yemeni expatriate who authorities say ran an elaborate begging syndicate.
Investigations carried out by the CID revealed that Ali monitored main streets in the city from which he would carefully select routes for the beggars, many of were children. Ali provided the beggars with accommodation and used a van to transport them to and fro their designated areas. The beggars were collected at midnight and the money they had received during the day was distributed among the leaders of Ali’s gang. The beggars also received a cut.
Ali is also alleged to have brought the beggars into the country after agreeing to give them a certain amount of money every day.
Police carefully monitored Ali and the gang’s top leadership. The spokesman of Jeddah police, First Lt. Nawaf Al-Booq said Ali and all of the beggars were arrested red-handed.
Hundreds of beggars of different nationalities have been arrested over the past few months including a large number of women and children. Many of those arrested were falsely claiming that they were disabled; most of them were found to be illegal residents who stayed in the country after performing Umrah and Haj.
Authorities urged residents not to give money to the beggars and said alms should be given through the proper organizations and aid agencies that are registered with the government. — SG