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French busker found guilty of begging by Dubai court

DUBAI // A Frenchman playing an oud was arrested for begging after police caught him with Dh27 and 25 fils on a blanket in the Gold Souq this month.

The busker, 27, was arrested on November 1 this year at 10.30am at the souq in Naif where he had spread the blanket on the ground.

When a translator at Dubai Misdemeanours Court asked him if he had been begging by playing music, he said: “Yes, I was.”

He told the court he made his living from busking and had been travelling the world.

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

The busker, who said he also sometimes sang in public, was sentenced to 15 days in jail to be followed by deportation. The court ordered that the Dh27 and 25 fils be confiscated.

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(via The National)