"I regret to say that I consider the whole thing to be palpable nonsense."
A UK-born Indian billionaire has lost a court battle to his ex-wife. He will now have to pay a substantial settlement amount to her.
Ashish Thakkar, also known as “Africa’s youngest billionaire”, lost the court battle on Wednesday 22nd February 2017. The High Court judge accused the Indian billionaire of lying throughout the big divorce battle.
Thakkar said to the court that he only had a fortune worth less than £500,000. Meanwhile, his estranged wife, journalist Meera Manek, argued that his fortune was much higher, making him a billionaire.
Both Thakkar’s father and sister claimed the Indian billionaire had no control over the two family companies: Mara Group Holdings and Inspire Group Holdings Ltd.
After making a decision about the financial arguments, the judge dismissed Thakkar and his family’s claims. Instead, he deemed them as liars.
He said: “I regret to say that I consider the whole thing to be palpable nonsense.
“It follows that I find I have been repeatedly lied to by all three respondent Thakkar witnesses, which has extremely serious consequences for the rest of their evidence.”
Both Thakkar and his ex-wife will attend a further trial for assets. The judge will decide on the amount that the Indian billionaire will have to pay her.
Thakkar, who created his fortune in IT, banking and property, married Manek in 2008. However, the marriage became short-lived as they separated in 2013.
The court battle made news earlier as the estranged couple fought over a ticket for Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson’s upcoming flight project. The Indian billionaire was one of the first to sign up for these invaluable tickets, worth £160,000 each.
This ticket will be involved as an asset for the upcoming trial.
Leicester-born Thakkar’s family arrived in the UK in the 1970s after the deportation of East African Indians from Uganda. The whole family returned to Africa but soon evacuated back to the UK after a harrowing genocide took place in Rwanda.
Thakkar and his estranged wife have given no official comments yet on the ruling.