UAE | General

Indian businessman rescues prisoners in debt

A Dubai-based Indian businessman has come to the rescue of prisoners in debt

  • By Sharmila Dhal, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 March 3, 2011
  • XPRESS

  • Image Credit: © XPRESS/Pankaj Sharma
  • Firoz Merchant

Dubai: A Dubai-based Indian businessman has come to the rescue of prisoners in debt by clearing their dues and buying them air tickets to return home.

"We are all human and make mistakes. We must be given a second chance," said Firoz Merchant, Chairman of Pure Gold Jewellers, who has helped 335 prisoners fly back to their countries in the past six months. In addition, he has fully paid the money owed by 29 others to obtain their release.

Merchant said he has joined hands with the Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charitable Trust and police authorities in various emirates to identify genuine cases. "It is up to the authorities to decide on the list," he said, adding that the prisoners who have been helped so far include those from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Ethiopia, Morocco, Afghanistan and the Philippines.

Of the 335 prisoners sent home, 101 were from Dubai, 185 from Sharjah, 42 from Ajman and seven from Ras Al Khaimah, he added.

Giving a break-up for the debts he has cleared in full, he said there were seven cases each from Dubai and Sharjah, six from Ajman, five from Ras Al Khaimah and four from Umm Al Qwain. The money owed ranged from Dh6,000 to Dh55,000. Merchant, who has been in the UAE for the past 22 years, said he has spent over Dh530,000 to help prisoners from various emirates. In addition, he contributed Dh420,000 to the Zakat Fund Abu Dhabi to free the capital's prisoners in debt. "We are currently in talks with authorities in Fujairah," he said.

Comments (2)

  1. Added 14:46 March 4, 2011

    Dear Mr Firoz Merchant, Chairman of Pure Gold Jewellers, Sir, I’m a cancer patient and have small bank liabilities. I requested all banks to settle my debt, but none agreed. Can you please help me? My contact number is 050-682 6267.

    P.C. Ummer, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 21:27 March 3, 2011

    Banks may start misusing such help and use it to their advantage. The government should instead cancel the old system of jailing businessmen for bounced cheques and transfer all cases to civil courts. Such help should be made for other humanitarian causes. Such kindness should never be used to feed the greed of banks. Loans, commercial transactions and any other financial disputes must be solved in a civilised manner through the civil system and not through police or prison.

    Sole, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

XPRESS
Latest news
Community Reports

More from Community Reports

Quick Links

  1. Business

  2. Sport

  3. The latest Entertainment news

  4. The latest Lifestyle stories

  5. Opinion

Gulf Country Finder

  1. The latest news from the UAE

  2. Saudi Arabia

  3. Qatar

  4. Bahrain

  5. Oman

  6. Kuwait

  7. Yemen

Region Country Finder

  1. Syria

  2. Palestinian territories

  3. Jordan

  4. Lebanon

  5. Iran

  6. Iraq

  7. Egypt

Influencers

  1. United States of America

  2. India

  3. Pakistan

  4. United Kingdom

Regions

  1. Gulf

  2. Region

  3. The latest news from around the world