Wednesday, 19 December 2007
By Adel Al-Malki Saudi Gazette
ARAFAT - Some 1,000 plainclothes policemen have been deployed here and in Makkah and Mina to catch pickpockets.
The policemen go around dressed as cleaning people or as pilgrims wearing Ihram. They are spread all over the city including Al-Rahman Mosque, Jabal Al-Rahmah and WC. Col. Khider Al-Zahrani, director of Investigation Department for Festive Occassions in the holy sites, said the police mingle with the pilgrims so as to closely guard them from pickpockets. An Arab pilgrim who was attempting to steal from a pilgrim's luggage was caught red-handed by a policeman in cleaning people's clothes. About 100 pickpockets were also nabbed near the WC.
The stolen items are turned over to the MInistry of Haj while the stolen licenses are brought to the Traffic Department in Makkah, Al-Zahrani said.
He added that the pickpockets are allowed to finish performing Haj inside security cars before they are jailed.