Octav Botnar

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Octav Botnar (October 21, 1913 – July 11, 1998) was a self-made businessman who founded Datsun UK (later Nissan UK) and its associated car retail business Automotive Financial Group (AFG), and a noted philanthropist, who donated over £100 million in his lifetime[citation needed].

He was born in Chernivtsi, which was then called Czernowitz and belonged to Austria-Hungary. During his childhood, in 1918, Austria-Hungary dissolved and his hometown, renamed Cernăuţi, became part of Romania. Under its present name it is now part of Ukraine.

He spent 1932–1936 in prison. Afterwards, he moved to France, where he spent World War II. He returned to Romania in 1946 and remained there until 1960. He fled Communist Eastern Europe, in 1966 by way of Germany to Worthing in England, where he founded Datsun UK (now Nissan UK) in 1970, although he reputedly lived in Switzerland, France and Monaco. He fled to Switzerland in 1991 to avoid trouble with the police (according to the British authorities, he evaded more than £200 million in taxes) and died in Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland.

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