All beggars will face arrest under a new law which comes into effect on Thursday.
In an attempt to curb human trafficking and organized begging rings, a new law to abolish begging will be introduced by National Legislative Assembly, according to government spokesman Maj. Gen. Sansern Kaewkamnerd.
If the arrested beggars are foreign, they will be deported.
According to a survey, there are 4,618 beggars in Thailand — 1,691 of them are foreigners.
Arrested beggars will serve a one-month sentence and/or be fined up to THB10,000. Those who are found to benefit from beggars, or the “mastermind” of a begging operation, will be sentenced to three months in prison and/or fined up to THB30,000.
After serving their sentence, the Thai beggars will be provided with physical and mental rehabilitation and job training at the state’s homeless shelter so they can find a better life and not return to begging.
Sansern also urged the public not to give money to beggars. The public can report beggars via 24-hour hotline 1300, Thai PBS reported.