A prominent Indian businessman who owns a jewellery and healthcare chain across the Middle East has been reported missing after allegedly cheating 15 banks in the region of millions of dirhams.

Some media reports put the amount at more than AED550mn.

The businessman has more than 40 jewellery outlets and a healthcare chain in Oman, UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and India and had taken loans to the tune of AED 550mn from more than 15 banks.

A leading Indian bank having business in UAE had loaned him AED79mn. A visit by the bank’s representative to his jewellery outlets in UAE raised suspicions as very little jewellery was on display and the salesperson said that most of it had been taken to the head office for tagging.

The affected banks trying to reach the owner found his mobile phone to be switched off and came to know from his personal secretary that he was missing.

The banks are now approaching Central Bank of the UAE to initiate action.

It is being speculated that the businessman may have incurred a huge loss during the recent fall in gold prices.

An official from the brand’s jewellery store in Oman told Muscat Daily that business was on as usual and refused to comment on media reports.