Ely Calil

Last updated
Ely Calil
Born(1945-12-08)8 December 1945
Died28 May 2018(2018-05-28) (aged 72)

Ely Calil (8 December 1945 – 28 May 2018) was a Lebanese businessman holding British citizenship. He was one of the richest men in Britain; The Sunday Times Magazine estimated his wealth in 2010 to be around £350 million. [1]

Lebanon Country in Western Asia

Lebanon, officially known as the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south, while Cyprus is west across the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon's location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland facilitated its rich history and shaped a cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity. At just 10,452 km2, it is the smallest recognized sovereign state on the mainland Asian continent.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

<i>The Sunday Times Magazine</i>

The Sunday Times Magazine is a magazine included with The Sunday Times. In 1962 it became the first colour supplement to be published as a supplement to a UK newspaper, and its arrival "broke the mould of weekend newspaper publishing".



His ancestry can be traced back to 1920s or 30s when his family set up their home in what's today Turkey after leaving Lebanon, but then returned to Lebanon after Ataturk's policies discriminating against Christians. Before he was born, his family set up an oil mill for groundnut processing in Lebanon in 1941. His father, George Khalil, died in 1970, leaving behind two sons, him [Ely] and Bernard, and was said to have bequeathed £20 million to Ely. [2]

Turkey Republic in Western Asia

Turkey, officially the Republic of Turkey, is a transcontinental country located mainly in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. East Thrace, located in Europe, is separated from Anatolia by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorous strait and the Dardanelles. Turkey is bordered by Greece and Bulgaria to its northwest; Georgia to its northeast; Armenia, the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan and Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the south. Istanbul is the largest city, but more central Ankara is the capital. Approximately 70 to 80 per cent of the country's citizens identify as Turkish. Kurds are the largest minority; the size of the Kurdish population is a subject of dispute with estimates placing the figure at anywhere from 12 to 25 per cent of the population.

Christianity in Turkey Overview of Christianity and churches in Turkey

Christianity in Turkey has had a long history dating back to the 1st-century AD. In modern times the percentage of Christians in Turkey has declined from 20-25 percent in 1914 to 3-5.5 percent in 1927, to 0.3-0.4% today roughly translating to 200,000-320,000 devotees. This was due to events which had a significant impact on the country's demographic structure, such as the First World War, the genocide of Syriacs, Assyrian, Greeks, Armenians, and Chaldeans the population exchange between Greece and Turkey, and the emigration of Christians to foreign countries that actually began in the late 19th century and gained pace in the first quarter of the 20th century, especially during World War I. Today there are more than 200,000-320,000 people of different Christian denominations, representing roughly 0,3-0.4 percent of Turkey's population, including an estimated 80,000 Oriental Orthodox, 35,000 Catholics, 18,000 Antiochian Greeks, 5,000 Greek Orthodox and 8,000 Protestants. There is also a small group of ethnic Orthodox-Christian Turks who follow the Greek Orthodox or Syriac Orthodox church and additionally Protestant Turks whom still faces difficulties even though they are from recent Muslim Turkish backgrounds(rather than ethnic minorities)that don't have historic claims to churches or property in the country. There are also ethnic Turkish protestants numbering 7,000-8,000. Currently there are 236 churches open for worship in Turkey. The Eastern Orthodox Church has been headquartered in Constantinople since the 4th century.

George Calil was a Lebanese businessman who operated his business in the Nigerian city of Kano. He was a major groundnut trader in the 1940s-1960s, and was one of the earliest entrepreneurs who invested in manufacturing units in the city of Kano and other parts of the country.


In 2002, Calil was arrested in Paris in connection with the Elf Aquitaine scandal but was released on appeal. [3]

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.

Elf Aquitaine business

Elf Aquitaine was a French oil company which merged with TotalFina to form TotalFinaElf. The new company changed its name to Total in 2003. Elf has been maintained as a major brand of Total.

In 2004 Calil was alleged to be part in the failed coup d'état in Equatorial Guinea and was sought by courts both in Equatorial Guinea and South Africa. [4] In September 2004, he was sued by the Equatorial Guinean government for allegedly having raised $750 000 to finance the plot. [5]

The 2004 Equatorial Guinea coup d'état attempt, also known as the Wonga coup, failed to replace President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo with exiled opposition politician Severo Moto. Mercenaries organised by mainly British financiers were arrested in Zimbabwe on 7 March 2004 before they could carry out the plot. Prosecutors alleged that Moto was to be installed as the new president in return for preferential oil rights to corporations affiliated to those involved with the coup. The incident received international media attention after the reported involvement of Sir Mark Thatcher in funding the coup, for which he was convicted and fined in South Africa.

South Africa Republic in the southernmost part of Africa

South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; and to the east and northeast by Mozambique and Eswatini (Swaziland); and it surrounds the enclaved country of Lesotho. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation. It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Bantu ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status. The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European, Asian (Indian), and multiracial (Coloured) ancestry.

Personal life

Ely Calil was a father of six including actor George Calil and was married three times. His first wife was a Tennessee tobacco heiress named Frances Condon. They married at a Roman Catholic church in Farm Street, Mayfair in 1972. They had two children: George and Katherine. His second wife was Lebanese socialite Hayat Emma Mroue who gave him two more children, Karim and May. They divorced in 1985 and afterwards she married property tycoon Lord Palumbo. Calil also has a son Stefan from a relationship with Noor Birol. Calil's third wife was Indian Renuka Jain, with whom he had a daughter, Yasmine. They also went on to divorce. In 2006 he sold his Chelsea home, Sloane House, for an estimated £45 million to Sir Anthony Bamford. He then lived in a rented £15 million mansion in Hampstead, London. He was known to be very private person and reclusive from publicity. He did not give interviews to newspapers and the press had taken only one photo of him over a forty year period. [6] In 2008 a gang of burglars targeted his home in Hampstead, but were caught by police and his possessions returned to him. [7]

Tennessee State of the United States of America

Tennessee is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Tennessee is the 36th largest and the 16th most populous of the 50 United States. Tennessee is bordered by Kentucky to the north, Virginia to the northeast, North Carolina to the east, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi to the south, Arkansas to the west, and Missouri to the northwest. The Appalachian Mountains dominate the eastern part of the state, and the Mississippi River forms the state's western border. Nashville is the state's capital and largest city, with a 2017 population of 667,560 and a 2017 metro population of 1,903,045. Tennessee's second largest city is Memphis, which had a population of 652,236 in 2017.

Mayfair area of central London, England

Mayfair is an affluent area in the West End of London towards the eastern edge of Hyde Park, in the City of Westminster, between Oxford Street, Regent Street, Piccadilly and Park Lane. It is one of the most expensive districts in London and the world.

Peter Palumbo, Baron Palumbo British peer

Peter Garth Palumbo, Lord Palumbo is a property developer, art collector, former chairman of the Arts Council of Great Britain, architecture connoisseur and Conservative life peer.

Calil died on 28 May 2018 after falling down stairs. [8]

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  1. "The Times & The Sunday Times" . Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  2. "Under fire: Lebanese millionaire who seems to know everybody". The Independent. Retrieved 26 August 2004.
  3. "The Times & The Sunday Times" . Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  4. Blaisse, Mark. Rich, Betrayed en Lonely. Reconstruction of the international plot against Equatorial Guinea (PREG Publications, Malabo, 2011)[ page needed ]
  5. "UK businessman sued for coup". News 24 Archives. Retrieved 10 September 2004.
  6. The Sunday Times - Profile: Eli Calil
  7. The Telegraph - Gang robs millionaire Ely Calil
  8. "Ely Calil: The oil magnate who financed the failed 'wonga coup' in Equatorial Guinea". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-06-11.