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Wed 25 Jan 2017 11:04 AM

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Dubai businessman pledges $1m to rescue debtors from UAE jails

Merchant paid $40,872 for release of 132 prisoners from Ajman Central Jail

Dubai businessman pledges $1m to rescue debtors from UAE jails
Dubai-based Indian businessman and philanthropist Firoz Merchant has pledged to spend $1 million during 2017 to help free expats who are overstaying in the jail, despite completing their terms, as they do not have money to return home.

Dubai-based Indian businessman and philanthropist Firoz Merchant has paid $40,872 (AED150,000) in money owed that led to the release 132 prisoners from Ajman Central Jail.

Merchant, chairman of Pure Gold Jewellers, has pledged to spend $1 million during 2017 to help free expats who are overstaying in the jail, despite completing their terms, as they do not have money to return home.

The prisoners released from Ajman jail were from India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Ethiopia, Syria, Yemen, Oman and Ghana.

Merchant told Arabian Business in 2015 that he has helped repatriate around 4,000 insolvent prisoners from Dubai jails paying over $952,914 (AED3.5m) since 2011.

“These people are unfortunate victims of circumstances and are not real criminals. They have ended up in jail because of debt-related cases and I want to do my best to send them back to their families,” Merchant said.

He admitted that 2016 was “challenging for a lot of people working in the UAE some of whom could not pay their debt”.

“That is why I decided to pay off their debts and get them air tickets so that they can go back to their home countries,” he added.

Only applications forwarded by jail authorities across the UAE are considered with the upper limit of default set at $8,174 (AED30,000) for cases related to rents, school fees, medical and car loan.

Brian Wilkie 2 years ago

Good for you Firoz, for showing the true spirit of giving! What an excellent initiative.

cfd 2 years ago

simply outstanding! what a humanitarian you are sir!

Thoughtful 2 years ago

Good man! Worth emulating.

Navin Lewis 2 years ago

Well done Sir! That truly is a selfless act and one of kindness. God bless you always and I'm sure those who have been helped by what you've done will always be grateful and keep you in their prayers.

Hats off to you!

Shanti 2 years ago

Excellent act. God bless you and your family Mr. Merchant. How many rich people come forward to do this? Many don't even pay their staff properly these days who work to improve their company's profits.

sajith 2 years ago

Really You are Great

Mad 2 years ago

Many individuals around the world are praying for Firoz and similar people... Families and kids were waiting and still waiting for those unfortunate.. God bless