Hard-luck case or just a beggar from Shenzhen?

SINGAPORE - A man who lost his left hand and right thumb has been spotted begging near Khatib MRT station, Shin Min Daily News reported yesterday.

Mr Luo, a reader who alerted the newspaper, was concerned that the beggar was part of a syndicate.

"I asked him if he needed help, and he said, 'Just give me money'," he told Shin Min.

"I suspect he is part of a begging syndicate."

A reporter from the paper found the man sitting on an overhead bridge with a plastic container in front of him on Sunday. Two passers-by were seen giving him money in a 15-minute period.

The man, surnamed Long, said he came from Shenzhen. He lost his hand and thumb in an industrial accident, he said.

He came to Singapore on May 19, but his wallet was stolen, he said.

He had earlier wired money to an associate from his hometown who is here, but his contact did not turn up to meet him.

He did not make any police report, and, being broke, he turned to begging. He has a return flight on June 18, he said.

He also claimed it was his first day begging, but passers-by said they had seen him there before.

Lee Bee Wah, Member of Parliament for Nee Soon GRC, said she has made a police report.

She asked the public not to encourage beggars by giving them money.

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