Indian businessman comes to rescue by paying for their return tickets

A ray of hope has emerged for numerous expatriate prisoners freed from jail in UAE who do not have sufficient funds to return home as a Dubai-based Indian billionaire has come to their rescue. He has pledged to donate USD 130,790 a year to fund the return tickets of these expatriate prisoners.

Firoz Merchant.
Firoz Merchant. Photo courtesy: Facebook

The Indian billionaire, Firoz Merchant, founder and chairman of Pure Gold Jewellers, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the UAE’s Faraj Fund, a charity that is devoted for the welfare of inmates.

The billionaire will give about USD130,790 (AED480,000) a year to fund the tickets for the released prisoners so that they can return to their country.

Merchant said, “These prisoners are victims of circumstances and are not real criminals. They are in jail because of debt.”

He added, “In unison with the Year of Giving initiative, we are working with the prison and law enforcement authorities to help insolvent prisoners; as well as members of the police force who work hard to ensure we continue to live in a secure and happy community.” 

The AED40,000 monthly budget will be released to Faraj Fund once it submits a list of deported inmates.

Firoz Merchant, who has an ongoing initiative to help clear the debts of expatriates who land in jail, has just secured the release of 132 prisoners by paying off combined borrowings worth AED150,000.