Mahdi al-Tajir
Metals, Oil, Water
Rank 2017
Bahrain-born al-Tajir paid a £2.1m ransom when his brother was kidnapped in 1986. Four years later his Buckinghamshire mansion was robbed by an armed gang that stole £5m of antiques, and a wing of the house was later destroyed in a fire that caused £50m of damage. In the UK he has interests in metal, oil and gas trading, as well as a huge property portfolio held through Drift Properties, with £227m net assets in 2015. He also owns Highland Spring, the Scottish bottled water operation, which turned in a £4.3m profit on record sales of £103m in 2015. Tajir, 85, has a palatial London home and 24,000-acre Perthshire estate.