Ely Calil

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]

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


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]


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

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]

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]

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


  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)
  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.
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