x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Runaway Dubai executive refuses to discuss unpaid debts

Entrepreneur Simon Ford, who fled Dubai leaving debts of more than Dh1 million for his Blue Banana business, has refused to say if he has repaid any of the money.

DUBAI // Runaway entrepreneur Simon Ford has refused to say if he has repaid any of the money he owes from the collapse of his Blue Banana online business in Dubai three years ago.

The need to support his family, Mr Ford said, "has to be my short-term priority".

He fled the UAE and returned to the UK with his pregnant wife and three young children, leaving debts of more than Dh1 million. At the time, he promised to pay back "every last dirham".

The National yesterday revealed Mr Ford had launched a new online venture in Britain called Punch iD based in theWarwickshire village of  Henley-in-Arden.

Blue Banana sold gift vouchers for activities such as drives in racing cars and hot-air balloon trips.

Asked if he had started repaying money to customers, investors, suppliers and staff, Mr Ford said: "I won't respond to all of your questions in depth as I feel that enough has been said on these topics already.

"There have been comments suggesting I have somehow gained from leaving Dubai. I have not.

"I have lost everything."