Atlas chairman's personal assistant Shyam continues to deny reports of arrest.

Its confirmed Atlas Ramachandran arrested by Dubai Police
news Tuesday, September 01, 2015 - 19:27

Founder chairman of Atlas Group, and movie producer MM ‘Atlas’ Ramachandran has been arrested by the Dubai Police after complaints against him for defaulting on loans around 500 million dirhams. 

According to a Reuters report, the Dubai Police have said that Ramachandran and his daughter had been arrested in cases related to suspected bounced cheques.

The Khaleej Times, had earlier reported that MM Ramachandran had been arrested and was being held in a detention centre in Bur Dubai since August 23 and that that his daughter too had been detained and lodged in the women’s section of the detention centre.

However, the Atlas chairman's personal assistant Shyam told GDN Online reports of the former being arrested are false. "Dr Ramachandran has not been arrested and is currently at his Dubai residence on medication, as all these unfair and baseless reports have affected his health. We did have to remove some gold from our Dubai showrooms, which has been cited as proof for business being closed down, but this is a normal thing to do.” 

Speaking about reports of the company's financial trouble and gold stocks in the company’s Dubai showrooms having allegedly been removed, he told GDN, "The reports are not right and no-one has contacted us for an official response. There are no plans to shut down any of our shops, though it is true that there have been some financial hiccups due to the recent stock market plunge."

Trouble started brewing for the group after around 15 banks operating in Dubai approached the Dubai police complaining that the group had defaulted on loan payments running up to Dh550 million (approximately Rs 1000 crores). 

Tawhid Abdullah, chairman of Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group, of which Atlas is a member of, told Khaleej Times that the trade body was willing to find a solution to the issue.

He added that they believed there was no bad intention on the part of MM Ramachandran and putting him behind bars was not the right way to solve the issue.

"If someone wanted to cheat, he could have left the country months ago. As a group, we are ready to help out a long-time member. There are several solutions. But for all these we need to sit and talk with the banks and the troubled company. ” Tawhid Abdullah

Gulf news reported that the group had invested Dh20-Dh30 million in gold purchases recently. ‘However, sources said inventory levels across the chain have come down appreciably, compelling bankers to question where the recent Dh30 million used, fearing that the finances and assets were being willfully diverted.'

Another news report by the Deccan Chronicle quoted sources in the group saying that they were trying to settling dues by offloading inventory.

About the Atlas group

The very first show room of the Atlas group was opened in Kuwait city in 1981; the group now has almost 50 showrooms across the United Arab Emirates in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Qatar and Ras Al Khaimah.

 In 1987, popular actor Shobana was featured in Atlas's first video advertisement, in 1988, Ramachandran ventured into film production and distribution.

When Iraq occupied Kuwait in 1990, the group incurred losses and moved its headquarters to United Arab Emirates (UAE). 

By 1996, Ramachandran had become a substantial player in the gold and jewelry markets in UAE and was elected as the Chairman of the Dubai Shopping Festival's Gold Promotion Committee.

M.M. Ramachandran with H.H. Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai