News Column

Jobless Indian expatriate seeks help to clear debts

July 9, 2014

Dubai: An Indian expatriate who was running his own business in the UAE is now jobless, penniless and in deep financial trouble.

A victim of the economic downturn, Salim Kutty Ebrahim's troubles began after his business of 21 years in Sharjah went bust.

"Business was bad. There was no money coming in from clients. I had to pay back suppliers and clear Dh400,000 in loans. Then my business closed down. I sold my properties in India to repay part of the loans. Meanwhile, some cheques I had given to suppliers bounced. A case was registered against me and I fell into deeper trouble," said the 46-year-old man who was dealing in aluminium shutters.

Ebrahim's now lives in a small place in Dibba with his wife and son. Explaining his situation, he said: "Due to the bounced cheque case, my residence visa could not be renewed. My wife and son's visas too expired three months ago. Moreover, one of the supplier's to whom I owed money has kept my wife's passport as guarantee.

"Life has become very difficult for us. We desperately need financial help."

However, some people have been kind and have come forward to help them. "Currently, we are living off the generosity of friends and relatives," said his wife Razena. His 20-year-old son, Mohammad, who finished his schooling this year, does not know if he will ever be able to continue his studies. "All my friends are in college. I am not sure what my future is going to be like. I hope we can come out of this mess soon," he said.

"I used to play for a local football club. I had a playing card which allowed me to make Dh900 per match. But when I turned 18, I could not use my card because only Emiratis are allowed use cards after 18 now," Mohammad said.

Ebrahim said his landlord will evict him from his house if he fails to pay his rents for the last six months. "How will I pay the rent? I used to make ends meet by taking up odd jobs. Not anymore, jobs are hard to come by these days," he said.

Those who wish to help Ebrahim may write to editor@

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Source: XPRESS (United Arab Emirates)

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