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Saudi arms dealer worth £2.4bn at height of his wealth dies aged 82

Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, a businessman once worth billions and renowned for his lavish lifestyle, has died at the age of 82, his family said.

Hailed for his "elegance, strength and dignity" by loved ones, the tycoon was said to have been undergoing treatment for Parkinson's Disease.

He died in London on Tuesday, according to a family statement.

At the peak of his wealth in the 1970s, Mr Khashoggi was estimated to be worth £2.4 billion.

It followed years of forging deals across the globe with giants of the defence industry, including the Lockheed Corporation.

With the vast fortune came a reputation for extravagance, characterised by parties which sometimes ran for days.

On one occasion, the Stanford-educated magnate held a party in Istanbul for actress Liz Taylor after her cancer operation, while reportedly hiring rock band Queen to play another.

In 1987, Mr Khashoggi appeared on the front cover of Time magazine below the headline: "Those Shadowy Arms Traders: Adnan Khashoggi's High Life and Flashy Deals".

Financial turbulence followed, however, and the arms dealer was forced to sell off relics of his flamboyant existence.

This included the superyacht, Nabila, which eventually ended up in the hands of now-US president Donald Trump, according to reports.

Following his death, a statement from the family read: ''It is with deep sadness that the Khashoggi family must announce that our beloved father Adnan Khashoggi, aged 82, died peacefully today in London while being treated for Parkinson's Disease.

"He lived his last days surrounded by his devoted family, children and grandchildren, with the same elegance, strength and dignity that characterised his remarkable life. He is survived by his wife Lamia.

"AK was a pioneer who achieved global recognition in a golden age through his extraordinary business achievements and renowned generosity. Our father understood the art of bringing people together better than anyone.

"He combined commercial acumen with an over-riding loyalty to his country, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. His work always furthered the interests of his country.

''He celebrated life in the living of it, and always with an innate curiosity in others.

''His warm smile and endearing sense of humour remained intact to the end.

"Despite the harsh conflicting realities of the world our father always believed in peace, harmony and the goodness in everyone.

"Our father was an inspiration to us, a true one-off, the like of which the world will never see again. He will be forever missed and never forgotten. God rest his beautiful soul.''

Mr Khashoggi, whose late sister Samira was married to Harrods chief Mohamed Al Fayed, was an uncle of Princess Diana's final love, Dodi Fayed.

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