Bahrain royal has more than riots on his plate
By Jonathan Russell, Dashwood Editor, 10:00PM GMT 19 Feb 2011
While Bahrain threatens to burn, a member of the country’s ruling family is facing his own problems. As reported last week, Sheikh Abdulrahman Mubarak Hamad Al Khalifa is on the hook for £270,000 in gambling debts. His bookie – or I think I can confidently say, his former bookie – Spreadex, revealed it had got two judgments against the businessman, one in the UK, the other in Bahrain. It hasn’t got its money back yet. I asked Spreadex how the Sheikh had lost all that money. The company refused to say. So I asked some other people I know. No surprise perhaps, given his background, but the Sheikh has a keen love of the gee-gees. During 2006 and 2007 he, or at least his money, was a regular at all the big meets. In 2008 he even went as far to invest in a couple of nags – Dear Maurice and Royal Jazra. Like his bets, that didn’t turn out too well either. There was a fall-out with the original owner which resulted in the horses being returned. Unlike Spreadex’s cash.
Sheikh loses Bahraini palace to bookmaker Spreadex after racking up gambling
By Greg Walton, 11:16 AM on 9th July 2011
Bookmaker Spreadex is in line to receive a share in a Bahraini palace part-owned by royal family member Sheikh Hamad Al Khalifa after he racked up a quarter of a million pounds in gambling debts. Spreadex moved to take a share in the palace through a ‘charging order’ granted by UK and Bahraini courts to the bookmaker, which is claiming £240,272.26. Al Khalifa was ordered to pay in full by June 30 at an enforcement hearing held in Bahrain in April. Now that he has failed to meet that deadline, Spreadex is expected to sell off Al Khalifa’s interest in a palace owned by the
royal family, as directed by the enforcement court. It is understood that other royals holding a share in the property will be forced to buy out the company, as according to Bahraini law only members of the ruling family should have stakes in royal palaces. Al Khalifa is believed to be in London, and the court has asked officials to seize his passport or block his return to the oil-rich Saudi-backed kingdom. The Bahraini authorities claim not to know Al Khalifa, but court documents show his UK address to be their London embassy.