June 10, 2018 / 8:49 AM / a year ago

Dubai gold retailer held for loans default is released: sources

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - The owner of a Dubai-based gold and jewellery retailer held for defaulting on loans worth about 500 million dirhams ($136 million), has been released, two sources said on Sunday, following local media reports.

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 told Reuters at the time.

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 had said the gold retailer had defaulted on loans worth about 500 million dirhams 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 healthcare.

Reporting By Stanley Carvalho; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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