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Indian Billionaire promised to pay for prisoner’s tickets

Firoz Merchant, Indian-origin businessman

Dubai, May 24 (UITV): A Dubai-based Indian billionaire promised that he will donate $130,790 in a year to fund the return tickets of expatriate prisoners who have been released from jails in the UAE.

Firoz Merchant, founder and chairman of Pure Gold Jewellers, has just signed a memorandum of understanding with the UAE's Faraj Fund, a charity initiative that seeks to promote the welfare of inmates in the country.

Pure Gold Jewellers is a jewellery retailer with 120 stores across the Middle East, in the UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, KSA, Bahrain, Sri Lanka and 200 stores in India.

Faraj Fund was established in June 2009 in Abu Dhabi through a decree issued by the Minister of Social Affairs.

The Dh 40,000 monthly budget will be released to Faraj Fund once it submits a list of deported inmates.

Merchant promised to provide fund the air tickets for released prisoners, to help them go back to their country and reunite with their families.

Mumbai-born businessman, has Secured the release of 132 prisoners by paying off combined borrowings worth Dh 150,000.

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

"In unity 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," Merchant added.