Saturday, January 14, 2012

Adnan Khashoggi

Adnan Khashoggi (Arabic: عدنان خاشقجي‎, born 25 July 1935) is a Saudi Arabian arms-dealer and businessman. He is also noted for his engagements with high society in both the Occident and Arabic-speaking worlds, and for his involvement in the Iran–Contra and Lockheed bribery scandals, and numerous other affairs. He was considered the richest man in the world in the 1980s.

Early Life
Khashoggi was born in Mecca, the son of Muhammad Khashoggi, a medical doctor who was King Abdel Aziz Al Saud's personal physician. His family is of Turkish ancestry. The family moved from the Iberian Peninsula and settled in Saudi Arabia. Adnan Khashoggi's sister Samira Khashoggi Fayed married Mohammed Al-Fayed and was the mother of Dodi Fayed.

Khashoggi was educated at Victoria College in Alexandria, Egypt, California State University, Chico, Ohio State University, and Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, USA. Khashoggi later 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.

A shrewd businessman, he covered his financial tracks by establishing front 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. He was also involved in diamond mining in the Central African Empire, working closely with Emperor Bokassa. 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.

Personal Life
In the 1960s he married 20-year old Englishwoman Sandra Daly who took the name Soraya Khashoggi. They raised one daughter and four sons together.

Khashoggi continues to live a quiet life in the Principality of Monaco, even after a British court ordered him to pay £7 million to a creditor. His services as a facilitator have been a recurring feature throughout US administrations since Nixon; most recently, he met with Richard Perle shortly before the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Khashoggi has eight children.

In the 1980s the Khashoggi family occupied one of the largest villa estates in Marbella, hosting lavish parties usually arranged by Marbella's "Monroe's" club proprietor and local celebrity Robert Young (born Robert Parkes UK 1953) These parties were legendary, and guests 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.

In 1985, celebrity reporter Robin Leach declared a birthday party in Vienna that Khashoggi threw for his eldest son to be "the most extravagant event in European history."

DNA testing in 1999 confirmed that his daughter Petrina Khashoggi, was in fact biologically not his, but Jonathan Aitken's and Soraya's child.

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