Number of beggars decreased in Baghdad, police say


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SULAIMANI — Baghdad Police Command said on Tuesday (January 25) the number of panhandlers in the Iraqi capital has gone down, while authorities say they are working to address the situation.

Lt. Col. Aziz Nasser, the director of Baghdad Police Command, said in a statement begging was a "rampant phenomenon” and some people were getting a great deal of money out of panhandling.

Nasser explained beggars were arrested but released the next day, after which they go right back to the streets to the same work. He said the Ministry of Interior was discussing the issue with the Supreme Judicial Council.

The director said committees were working to set guidelines to end panhandling or at least address the problem and that the leadership of the interior ministry was in the process of getting beggars off the streets.

"The number of beggars has decreased recently but they are still present,” Nasser said.

Officers from the Directorate of Residence Affairs said on January 10 that 45 foreign nationals were charged with violating the terms and conditions of their residence in Iraq by panhandling.

One of those arrested was believed to be a top promoter of begging in the country and allegedly recruited people through social media.

(NRT Digital Media)