The Jakarta Post
The South Jakarta Social Affairs Agency picked up an alleged beggar who reportedly had Rp 194.5 million (US$13,819) in his possession during a raid in Gandaria, South Jakarta, on Friday morning.
This is not the first time the beggar, identified as Muklis Muctar Besani, 65, was taken into custody by the agency carrying millions of rupiah.
Acting head of the South Jakarta Social Affairs Agency Mursyidin said he was caught in 2017 carrying approximately Rp 86 million.
Muklis has now been sent to Bina Insan Bangun Daya 1 Social House in Kedoya, West Jakarta, where he was previously placed in 2017 until he was collected by his family.
At that time he was instructed not to beg again and was allowed to keep the money he had collected.
The same procedure will apply this time. The agency will return Muklis’ money when a family member collects him from the social house.
Muhammad Yunus, one of the Social Support, Observation and Control (P3S) taskforce members who detained Muklis, said that Muklis initially denied earning the money from begging.
“At first he did not admit [he got the money] from begging. He said he earned it through his own undertaking. But that is impossible as he claimed he did not have any family members or a house here,” said Yunus as quoted by jakarta.tribunnews.com.
Muklis eventually admitted he got the money from begging.
Yunus added that when the taskforce searched his backpack, they found 18 bundles of Rp 100,000 bills. Each bundle amounted to Rp 10 million. There were also Rp 50,000 bills amounting to Rp 2 million in a separate envelope.
Muklis would exchange the small bills and coins he collected from begging at the bank after he had amassed Rp 500,000. He would then store the money inside his backpack.
The government has repeatedly urged people not to give money to beggars.
Begging and giving money to beggars is prohibited according to Jakarta Bylaw No. 8/2007 on public order. Article 40 of the bylaw states that the city is off limits to beggars, street vendors and street singers.
Violation of article 40 is regulated in article 61, which states offenders can be jailed for up to 60 days or fined a maximum of Rp 20 million.
In a bid to curb begging and homelessness, the government issued Government Regulation (PP) No. 31/1980 that defines a beggar as an individual who receives an income by asking for money in public through evoking people’s pity.
The regulation aims to provide rehabilitation and readjustment programs for the homeless and beggars so that they can have a better life as a citizen, off the streets. (ydp)