Ely Calil

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Ely Calil
Born (1945-12-08) December 8, 1945 (age 71)
Kano, Nigeria
Residence London, United Kingdom
Citizenship British
Occupation Businessman
Net worth £350 m (2010)
Spouse(s) Frances Condon
Hayat Mroue
Renuka Jain
Children George, Katherine, Karim, May, Stefan, Yasmine

Ely Calil (born 8 December 1945 in Kano, Nigeria) is a Lebanese businessman holding British citizenship. He is one of the richest men in Britain; The Sunday Times Magazine estimated his wealth in 2010 to be around £350 million.[1]


Ely Calil's source of wealth was inheritance. His father, George Calil, founded a groundnut oil empire and the Nigerian Oil Mills (NOM) which was later managed by Ely's younger brother Bernard. After his father's death in 1970 the wealth was bequeathed to Ely and his brother. Later on Ely expanded his wealth in property and finance. He successfully negotiated a number of oil mining deals in Nigeria in the 1980s.

His powerful circle of friends includes Lord Mandelson, Sir Mark Thatcher - son of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher - and Lord Archer of Weston-super-Mare. Calil was also a very close friend of late tycoons Sir James Goldsmith, John Aspinall and Mark Birley.

Personal life[edit]

Ely Calil is a father of six including actor George Calil and has been married three times. His first wife was a daughter of American tobacco millionaire Frances Condon. They married in 1972. They have two children, George and Katherine. His second wife was a Lebanese socialite Hayat Mroue who gave him two more children, Karim and May. They divorced in 1985 and afterwards she married property tycoon Lord Palumbo. He also has a son Stefan from a relationship with Noor Birol. Calil's third wife was an Indian Renuka Jain with whom he has a daughter Yasmine and they have also now divorced. In 2006 he sold his Chelsea home, Sloane House, for an estimated £45 million to Sir Anthony Bamford, the JCB diggers boss. He currently lives in a rented £15 million mansion in Hampstead, London. He is known to be very private person and reclusive from publicity. He does not give interviews to newspapers. The press has taken only one photo of him in the past forty years.[2] In 2008 a gang of burglars targeted his home in Hampstead, but were caught by police and his possessions returned to him.[3]


In 2004 Calil was alleged to be the mastermind and one of the financiers in the projected coup d'état in oil-rich Equatorial Guinea. He is currently sought by courts both in Equatorial Guinea and South Africa.[4] He strongly denies all allegations. Calil was generally believed to be the character nicknamed Smelly in the prison notes of Simon Mann, the leading mercenary of the planned coup-d'etat. When Mann was released in 2009, it was revealed he had made statements implicating others only after days of torture. Mann still called Calil his 'brother in arms' in an interview in 2011.[5] Calil has never been interviewed by any police force.[6][7]

In 2002, Calil was arrested in Paris in connection with the Elf Aquitaine scandal which reached into the heart of French government. He denied taking bribery of £40 million and was released without any charges.[8]


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