Mohammed al Fayed

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Mohammed al Fayed (born Alexandria, 1933) is an Egyptian businessman with extensive interests in the United Kingdom and France. He is the owner of the Ritz Hotel in Paris. He was the owner of London department store Harrods (the largest shop in the United Kingdom) and Fulham FC football team.

Al Fayed, who achieved wealth through his first marriage into the Kashoggi family of arms dealers, moved to Britain in 1974 and has since attempted repeatedly to obtain British nationality. His applications have been turned down by Conservative and Labour governments on the grounds that he is not of good character. He has been involved in a number of high-profile scandals. In 1990 the British Department of Trade and Industry found that al Fayed had lied about his background and assets during the takeover by him and his brother of the House of Fraser Group, parent company of Harrods, in 1985. He also paid MPs, notably the Conservative Neil Hamilton, to ask questions on his behalf in the House of Commons.

In 1997 his son Dodi Fayed began a relationship with Diana, Princess of Wales. On 31 August 1997 an al Fayed employee, Henri Paul, driving while under the influence of alcohol, was at the wheel of the car which crashed killing himself, Dodi and Diana. Mohammed al Fayed has since tried to blame this accident on the British secret service and royal family.

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