Indian billionaire to pay for expat prisoners' tickets from UAE

Dubai: A Dubai-based Indian billionaire will donate a total of USD 130,790 a year to fund the return tickets of expatriates prisoners who have been released from jails in the UAE.

Firoz Merchant, a jweller, has 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.

Merchant promised to provide USD 130,790 (Dh 480,000) a year to fund the air tickets for released prisoners, to help them go back to their country and reunite with their families.

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

The fund will be extended to inmates who cannot afford to pay for their airfare. The Dh40,000 monthly budget will be released to Faraj Fund once it submits a list of deported inmates.

Mumbai-born businessman, 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 Dh150,000.

(With PTI inputs)

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