Great Gatsby of the Middle East dies

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Adnan Khashoggi

SAUDI BUSINESSMAN, Adnan Khashoggi, known for his extravagant house and yacht parties in Marbella, has died aged 81.

During the 80s he took up residence at ´La Baraka´ (Arabic for blessing), spanning 5,000 hectares, with the villa one of the largest at the time in Marbella.

Born in Saudi Arabia, 1935, Khashoggi was the son of the personal physician to then ruler Abdul Azis al-Saud and alleged confidant to three powerful Saudi princes. Using his royal connections he accumulated an estimated €2.7bn fortune through brokering arms and oil sales with the British, French and US.

In 1989 he was arrested and extradited to the US where he stood trial under suspicion of helping Imelda Marcos, First Lady of the Philippines plunder millions of dollars from the country. Khashoggi then lost his Midas touch.

A decline in personal finances saw his property in Marbella repossessed by three banks and his yacht sold to current President of the United States Donald Trump. The superyacht valued at €62m and named after his daughter Nabila, was sold for ‘just’ €26m.

Trump is quoted in a 1989 Vanity Fair article as describing Khashoggi as “a great broker and a lousy businessman.”

He added that “he understood the art of bringing people together and putting together a deal better than almost anyone – all the bu********ng part, of talk and entertainment – but he never knew how to arrest his money.”

Khashoggi died at St. Thomas Hospital in London after reportedly undergoing treatment for Parkinson´s disease.

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