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Busker found guilty of begging by Dubai court

DUBAI // A busker arrested after police saw him playing music for money in the Gold Souk will spend 15 days in jail before being deported.

The 27-year-old Frenchman was arrested on November 1 this year at 10.30am at the souk in Naif. He was charged with begging.

The Dubai Court of Misdemeanours was told the man spread out a blanket on the floor where people could leave money after watching him play the oud.

Police found Dh27 and 25 fils on the blanket, which the defendant said he made from performing music.

When a translator asked him if he was begging in the form of playing music, he responded: “Yes, I did.”

He told the court he made his living from busking and had been travelling the world playing music in public for money. He has performed in numerous countries.

“I don’t ask people for money directly, I just place a piece of cloth on the floor and then I play oud. If they like to pay, they pay then I take the money,” the Frenchman said, adding he sometimes sings in public.

He was sentenced to 15 days in jail, to be followed by deportation. The court also ordered the money he made from busking be confiscated.

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(via The National)