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Adnan Khashoggi: Saudi arms dealer dead at 81

Britain Obit Khashoggi

LONDON (AP) – Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, once one of the world’s richest men who was implicated in the Iran-Contra affair, has died. He was 81 and had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

A statement from his family says Khashoggi died in London on Tuesday.

Khashoggi was notorious for his lavish lifestyle. He was estimated to be worth some $4 billion at the peak of his wealth in the 1970s.

Khashoggi was a man of connections. His nephew Dodi Fayed was Princess Diana’s paramour.

His family says he “combined commercial acumen with an over-riding loyalty to his country, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. His work always furthered the interests of his country.”

In 1988, he was arrested in Switzerland and accused of concealing funds in the bankruptcy of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International. After three months in jail, he was extradited to the United States, tried and acquitted.

Two years later, a federal grand jury in New York indicted Mr. Khashoggi and Imelda Marcos, for whom he had sheltered assets including four commercial buildings in Manhattan and paintings by Rubens and El Greco, on charges of fraud and racketeering. Both were acquitted. (With reports from New York Times)