NO MONEY … Industrialist Anil Ambani tells London court he has no money and is leading a simple life


MUMBAI: Industrialist Anil Ambani has said he leads a simple lifestyle, lived on the wealth of his wife and her family, and does not drink, smoke or gamble. He spoke via video mode from here before the high court in London, which questioned him on his financial strengths. He also said he sold off his jewellery to pay back the loans he took for business.

This was in connection with a case filed by three Chinese banks, which is fighting a case against Anil through the London court, over non-payment of a huge sum he took as loan and still owed them and had been ordered to be paid by a court in the past. The prominent Indian businessman is seeking to bring down the amount the Chinese banks demanded from him by way of repayment.

The 61-year-old Anil Ambani, whose business spans communications, power and infra, with stakes in entertainment industry and occasionally faced odds in business, yet is holding on ably. He is younger brother of Mukesh Ambani, one of the world’s richest men who runs a multinational business empire from Mumbai. Anil insists his net worth now is zero. He has more than $100million in family loans, the court heard.

The Chinese banks have sued him for over $900million, which they say they gave to Anil’s Reliance Communications Ltd in 2012. The banks say he gave them a personal guarantee, which Anil now denies having done.

Anil told the court he neither drank, smoked, nor gambled in life, and that he’s a vegetarian. His life, he said, was disciplined, when questions were asked to him by the court about his “luxurious” lifestyle. Anil said the court was mistaken, and he rather led a simple life, spent time at his home watching movies with his children, and rarely went out in the city.

The businessman said his vast family art collection was owned by his wife Tina Munim, a former Bollywood actress. About the use of his credit cards for luxuries, he said these cards were used often by his mother, Kokilaben, wife of deceased Dhirubhai Ambani who founded the Reliance Group in the 1970s. 

His mother, he admitted, gave him a loan of Rs 5billion two years ago to tide over his business problems. This was not a gift, and he does not recollect the details thereof. He also rejected the contention that he moved his wealth into his wife’s name.  Indian lawyer Harish Salve is representing Anil in the case. IHN-NN


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