A billionaire trader who is one of the world’s most prolific gamblers has won a £60m High Court battle with the Iranian military over a missing aeroplane, Times Online has learnt.
Fouad al-Zayat – known in casinos across the world as the “Fat Man” – was accused by the Iranians of taking payment for a luxurious jumbo jet which was never delivered.
Mr al-Zayat claimed that he had failed to deliver the plane, meant for use by the country’s President, because of a dispute over money.
The disclosure will drag the shy Mr al-Zayat into the limelight once again. The Syrian born entrepreneur, who is said to have gambled more than £200m, was reluctantly exposed to publicity in March when he was successfully sued by Aspinalls casino over a £2m gambling debt.
The case also shows that despite the kidnapping of British soldiers last month, the Iranian Government still uses the British courts to settle costly disputes.
Jason McCue, Mr al-Zayat’s solicitor, said that the British courts should not be used by the Iranian Government to settle costly and needless disputes.
“This whole case is preposterous. The Iranian military kidnap our troops one week and then try and use our courts the next to settle a private commercial dispute that has nothing to do with the UK.
“The Iranians are working flat out to develop nuclear weapons and British taxpayers’ are footing the bill for court time to decide whether we should help them boost their coffers,” he said.