The new law is set to come into effect in time for Ramadan…

People caught begging in the UAE will be subject to more jail time and higher fines with the introduction of a new law.

The Federal National Council has approved a draft law that aims to crack down on those who run organised begging networks, Gulf News reports.

The new punishments will include a minimum prison sentence of six months and a fine of at least Dhs100,000 for leaders of the groups.

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Meanwhile, individual beggars or those who belong to such groups may face a jail term of three months and a fine of Dhs5000.

The draft law states that able-bodied beggars, or those who already have a clear source of income, will face the maximum possible punishment.

Previously, people caught begging were jailed for one month followed by deportation.

As Gulf Business points out, the tougher punishments are set to come into force in time for Ramadan next month.

During the Holy Month there is a strong focus on charitable activities, which can be exploited by criminal groups.

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