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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Dubai jeweller who defaulted on Dh500m debt is released from jail

The sources said Ramachandran plans to take steps to settle his loans

The owner of a Dubai-based gold and jewellery retailer held for defaulting on loans worth about Dh500 million, has been released, two sources said on Sunday.

Indian born M.M. Ramachandran, the owner of Atlas Jewellery, was sentenced to three years in jail by a Dubai court in November 2015. Ramachandran was arrested on August 23 in cases related to suspected bounced cheques, Dubai Police said at the time.

Read more: Dubai jeweller asks for more time to repay Dh500m debt

Ramachandran has been released on bail, the sources told Reuters, declining to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter. A spokesman for Dubai Police did not respond to calls. A spokesperson for Atlas Jewellery could not be reached.

The sources said Ramachandran plans to take steps to settle his loans.

Around 15 local banks had granted loans to Atlas Jewellery, which had around 50 branches across the Gulf and India. The retail outlets in the UAE were shut down after his arrest, the sources said. At the time of his arrest, banking and trade sources said the gold retailer had defaulted on loans worth about Dh500 million and banks were considering options including legal action to retrieve their money.

Atlas Jewellery was founded by Ramachandran in Kuwait in 1981 and moved to Dubai after its trading was suspended by the first Gulf War. It has interests in real estate and health care.