Adnan Khashoggi

Adnan Khashoggi
Native name عدنان خاشقجي
Born Adnan Khashoggi
(1935-07-25) 25 July 1935
Mecca, Saudi Arabia
Residence Monaco
Nationality Saudi
Occupation International Businessman
Religion Sunni Islam
Spouse(s) Soraya Khashoggi
Lamia Khashoggi

Adnan Khashoggi (Arabic: عدنان خاشقجي; born 25 July 1935) is a Saudi Arabian businessman. At a peak net worth of up to 10 billion USD in the early 1980s, he was considered one of the richest men in the world.[1][2]

Early life and education

Khashoggi was born in Mecca, the son of Muhammad Khashoggi, who was King Abdul Aziz Al Saud's personal doctor.[3] His family is of Turkish origin. Adnan Khashoggi's sister Samira Khashoggi Fayed married Mohammed Al-Fayed and was the mother of Dodi Fayed.[4] Another sister, Soheir Khashoggi, is a well-known Arab writer (Mirage, Nadia's Song, Mosaic).[5]

Khashoggi was educated at Victoria College in Alexandria, Egypt,[3] and the American universities California State University, Chico, Ohio State, and Stanford. Khashoggi left his studies in order to seek his fortune in business.

Business career

Khashoggi headed a company called Triad Holding Company, which among other things built the Triad Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, which later went bankrupt. He was famed as an arms dealer, brokering deals between US firms and the Saudi government, most actively in the 1960s and 1970s. In the documentary series The Mayfair Set, Saudi author Said Aburish states that one of Adnan's first weapons deals was providing David Stirling with weapons for a covert mission in Yemen during the Aden Emergency in 1963. Among his overseas clients were defense contractors Lockheed Corporation (now Lockheed Martin Corporation), Raytheon, Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation and Northrop Corporation (which have now merged into Northrop Grumman).

Between 1970 and 1975, Lockheed paid Khashoggi $106 million in commissions. His commissions started at 2.5% + and eventually rose to as much as 15%. Khashoggi "became for all practical purposes a marketing arm of Lockheed. Adnan would provide not only an entree but strategy, constant advice, and analysis," according to Max Helzel, then vice president of Lockheed's international marketing.[6] Khashoggi along with Kamal Adham was one of the founders of the gold company Barrick Gold Corporation, established in 1983. For 25 years, Bob Shaheen served as Khashoggi's chief of staff and executive assistant.

A shrewd businessman, he established companies in Switzerland and Liechtenstein to handle his commissions as well as developing contacts with notables such as CIA officers James H. Critchfield and Kim Roosevelt and US businessman Bebe Rebozo, a close associate of former US President Richard Nixon. His yacht, the Nabila, was the largest in the world at the time and was used in the James Bond film Never Say Never Again. After Khashoggi ran into financial problems he sold the yacht to the Sultan of Brunei, who in turn sold it to Donald Trump for $29 million, who sold it for $20 million[7] to Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal as part of a deal to keep his Taj Mahal casino out of bankruptcy.[8]

Iran–Contra affair

He was implicated in the Iran–Contra affair as a key middleman in the arms-for-hostages exchange along with Iranian arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar and, in a complex series of events, was found to have borrowed money for these arms purchases from the now-bankrupt financial institution the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) with Saudi and US backing.

Imelda Marcos affair

In 1988, Khashoggi was arrested in Switzerland, accused of concealing funds, and held for three months. Khashoggi stopped fighting extradition when the US prosecutors reduced the charges to obstruction of justice and mail fraud and dropped the more serious charges of racketeering and conspiracy. In 1990, a United States federal jury in Manhattan acquitted Khashoggi and Imelda Marcos, widow of the exiled Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, of racketeering and fraud.[9][10]

Genesis Intermedia

Khashoggi, along with Ramy El-Batrawi, was the principal financier behind Genesis Intermedia, Inc. (formerly NASDAQ: GENI), a publicly traded Internet company based in the US. In 2006, El-Batrawi and Kashoggi were sued by the SEC for securities fraud.[11] The case was settled in 2008; both men did not admit or deny the allegations;.[12]

Seymour Hersh report

In January 2003, Seymour Hersh reported in The New Yorker magazine that former US Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Perle had a meeting with Khashoggi in Marseille in order to use him as a conduit between Trireme Partners, a private venture capital company of which he was one of three principals, and the Saudi government. At the time, Perle was chair of the Defense Policy Board, a Defense Department advisory group, which provided him with access to classified information and a position to influence defense policy. An advocate of the overthrow of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, Perle had served as an adviser to 2000 Republican US Presidential nominee George W. Bush.

Khashoggi told Hersh that Perle talked to him about the economic costs regarding a proposed invasion of Iraq. "'If there is no war,' he told me, 'why is there a need for security? If there is a war, of course, billions of dollars will have to be spent.'"[13]

2011 money laundering case

Khashoggi was implicated in a money laundering case involving the use of an Indian citizen. In 2011, Hasan Ali Khan, owner of a Pune stud farm, was arrested by India's Enforcement Directorate and charged. Khan and Kolkata businessman Kashinath Tapuriah were charged under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Allegedly, in 2003, Khan helped launder US$300 million of money through the Zurich branch of Swiss bank UBS.[14][15]

Khan and Tapuriah admitted to knowing Kashoggi, and Khan described him as a friend. Introduced to UBS by Khashoggi in 1982, Khan held funds in American accounts through UBS Geneva.[16] One of Khan's accounts was eventually blocked.[17]

Personal life

In the 1960s, Khashoggi married 20-year-old Englishwoman Sandra Daly (Sandra Patricia Jarvis-Daly) who converted to Islam and took the name Soraya Khashoggi.[18] They raised one daughter (Nabila, who attended Millfield School in England, whose son is the pianist and composer Thorvald Spartan von Daggenhurst) [19] and four sons together (Mohammed, Khalid, Hussein, and Omar).[20] Soraya gave birth to another daughter, Petrina Khashoggi, shortly after Adnan divorced her,[21] but this child has now been shown by DNA testing to not be Adnan's, but Jonathan Aitken's.[22]

His second wife, the Italian Laura Biancolini, also converted to Islam and changed her name to Lamia Khashoggi. She was only seventeen when she met Adnan and gave him another son, Ali, in 1980.[20]

In the 1980s, the Khashoggi family occupied one of the largest villa estates in Marbella, Spain, called Baraka, hosting lavish parties usually arranged by Marbella's "Monroe's" club proprietor and local celebrity Robert Young (born Robert Parkes UK 1953). Guests at these parties included film stars, politicians and pop celebrities. Food was supplied by up to 6 resident chefs, and it is said that champagne was kept in specially cooled trailers parked in the vast grounds of the complex.[23][24] In 1985, celebrity reporter Robin Leach declared a five-day birthday party in Vienna that Khashoggi threw for his eldest son to be "the most extravagant event in European history",[25] and in his heyday, Khashoggi spent $250,000 a day to maintain his lifestyle.[26]

Khashoggi also owned Ol Pejeta Conservancy, in Laikipia, Kenya. His house has since been converted into a hotel which is run by Serena Hotels.

Khashoggi continues to live a quiet life in the Principality of Monaco.

Influence and legacy





  1. David Leigh and Rob Evans (7 June 2007). "Biography: Adnan Khashoggi". The Guardian. London: Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  2. Michelle Green. "Unveiling Adnan Khashoggi: a Provocative Biography Tells of His Deals, His Wealth and His Women". People.Com. Time Inc. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  3. 1 2 "About the Bin Laden family". PBS. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  4. The First Post. "Michelle avoids Khashoggi and Thatcher in Marbella". Retrieved 22 February 2011.
  5. Rebecca Ponton. Soheir Khashoggi: Success Is No Mirage, Woman Abroad Magazine, Nº7, Sep/Oct 2001; retrieved 11 February 2012
  6. Stengel, Richard (19 January 1987). "Cover Stories: Khashoggi's High-Flying Realm". Time (magazine). p. 5. Archived from the original on 19 September 2008. Retrieved 25 August 2008.
  7. Roberts, Roxanne (October 9, 2015). "Inside the fabulous world of Donald Trump, where money is no problem". The Washington Post. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  8. KING, WAYNE (April 18, 1991). "Fiscal Riddle Confronts Casino Panel". New York Times. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  9. "Imelda Marcos Acquitted : Cleared of Looting Philippines to Buy N.Y. Skyscrapers : Khashoggi Also Freed in Blow to Justice Dept.". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. 2 July 1990.
  10. Yuenger, James (July 20, 1989). "Arms Dealer Goes From Riches To Jail". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  11. Bloomberg News in the New York Times. April 14, 2006 S.E.C. Accuses Saudi Financier and Executive of Stock Fraud
  12. Edvard Pettersson for Bloomberg news. April 1, 2010 Saudi Financier Khashoggi Settles SEC's GenesisIntermedia Case
  13. The New Yorker: LUNCH WITH THE CHAIRMAN. 17 March 2003.
  14. "Hasan Ali 'front man' of arms dealer Khashoggi: ED chargesheet". Indian Express. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
  15. "Black money case: Hasan Ali bail cancelled, under probe for Khashoggi linksf". Indian Express. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
  16. Kumar, Devesh (12 April 2011). "Black money: Hasan Ali, Tapuria admit to links with Khashoggi". Economic Times. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
  17. Mahajani, Urvi (7 May 2011). "Hasan Ali funded projects for Khashoggi". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  18. "Former billionaire's wife Soraya Khasgoggi's modest life as a flower-seller". Daily Mail. London. 19 January 2007.
  19. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. 1 2 Dominick Dunne. Khashoggi's Fall, Vanity Fair, September 1989; Retrieved 11 February 2012
  21. Tom Kelly. It's hard living with the stigma of being Jonathan Aitken's love child, says Petrina Khashoggi, Mail Online, 2 June 2011; Retrieved 11 February 2012
  22. Family rallies round Aitken's secret Khashoggi love child The Guardian, Yvonne Ridley and Jonathan Calvert. 10 January 1999
  23. Pierre Trudeau, en casa de Khashoggui, La Vanguardia, 6 August 1986; Retrieved 11 February 2012
  24. Michelle Green. Unveiling Adnan Khashoggi: a Provocative Biography Tells of His Deals, His Wealth and His Women, People, vol.25, Nº8, 24 February 1986; retrieved 11 February 2012
  25. Salmans, Sandra (22 February 1985). "Lavish Lifestyle Of a Wheeler-Dealer". New York Times. Retrieved 24 December 2011. Khashoggi's retreat at Marbella in southern Spain, an entire mountain with seven villas, a 1,300-acre hunting preserve and what we are told is the world's largest outdoor marble disco floor. We are led through his New York duplex, a $25 million apartment in the Olympic Tower on Fifth Ave.
  26. "Chasing debtors: Cash-strapped Khashoggi?". The Economist. 25 May 2013.

External links

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