(MENAFN - Arab News) The ministry of social affairs has warned residents from sympathizing with beggars as these common streetlight beggars it said may prove more dangerous than one may think about.
the ministry recently discovered that many of these 'poor peasants" were possibly financing suspicious groups said abdullah al-yusuf undersecretary at the ministry.
it however dismissed reports that the authorities have found any cash sums in the millions in their possession.
'such rumors are baseless" he said. 'some of them have been found to have collected between sr100000 to sr200000 but not more than that."
an official at the interior ministry however reaffirmed that beggars have not been found to bear any affiliation with terrorist groups.
'what has been said so far is only speculation" said col. omar al-zallal an official at the ministry's media office.
yusuf al-siyali irector-general of the anti-begging unit at the social affairs ministry reiterated that beggars often exploit women children and handicapped individuals to evoke the sympathy of street-goers.
'we fear that begging in general may become a cover-up attempt to promote drugs and other negative phenomena such as indecent" he said.
while the number of saudi beggars has decreased to an all-time low in 13 years the number of expats beggars increased 14 percent during the same period.
'the rise in the number of foreign beggars within the kingdom is the result of the lack of deterrent regulations against them" he said.
'we must draft a law against begging and exploitation which will undoubtedly curb this phenomenon."
he called on preachers to educate the public about the perils of begging whether done individually or collectively and discourage beggars from asking for money at mosques.