Lavish life of UK’s richest family… from £250m mansion to £15m wedding with J-Lo (2024)

THEY are Britain’s richest family, with an estimated fortune of £37billion that has afforded them a luxury lifestyle - including buying a £250million mansion near Buckingham Palace from the Queen.

The Hindujas also splashed out a whopping £15million on a lavish three-day wedding, with performances from Jennifer Lopez and Nicole Scherzinger.





But behind the glitz and glamour, the wealthy family were hiding a shameful secret. Four members of the billionaire Hinduja family have now been convicted of exploiting their vulnerable domestic workers at their sprawling Lake Geneva villa.

A Swiss court heard how staff were recruited from India and shipped to Europe before having their passports confiscated and being forced to sleep in windowless basem*nts.

During the two-week trial it was also revealed that the billionaire family spent more on their pet dog than on wages for one of their workers, who was paid just £6 to work for up to 18 hours a day, seven days a week.

Prosecutor Yves Bertossa showed the court a budget document called 'Pets', which revealed that the family spent £7,616 a year on the animal.


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He said: “They spent more for one dog than one of their servants.”

Prakash Hinduja, 78, and his wife Kamal, 75, were convicted of exploiting staff and providing unauthorised employment and sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison at the Palais de Justice in Geneva on Friday.

Their son Ajay, 56, and his wife Namrata, 50, got four years, while the family's business manager Najib Ziazi, was given an 18-month suspended sentence.

Sentencing, Judge Sabina Mascotto said: “They were exploited given their situation in India was so precarious and they were exploited as they didn't know the language, had their passports confiscated and were only ever paid every three to six months.

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“The four Hindujas knew the vulnerabilities of the staff and knew what the rules were in Switzerland, as they all were Swiss citizens and Ajay was educated in Switzerland.”

They were also ordered to pay £750,000 in compensation and £240,000 in legal fees.

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Yet, this is just the latest scandal to hit the family, known for their vast business empire spanning various sectors and 40 countries.

They own the Hinduja Group, which has interests in banking, oil, media, healthcare, entertainment and chemicals. And the family regularly tops the Sunday Times list of the UK's 350 richest people.

Hinduja patriarch Srichand and his brothers Gopichand, Prakash and Ashok built the company up after it was established by their late-father Parmanand - leading them to being dubbed the ‘Fab Four’.

Together, the brothers - who employ 200,000 people - bought multiple homes, including the 18th century mansion in London's Carlton House Terrace.

The incredible 60-room building is the former head office of the Crown Estate and was reportedly bought from the Queen. It took them five years to restore the mansion, carved out of four listed interconnected six-storey buildings and now worth more than £250million.






They also own the Raffles Hotel, on the site of the Old War Office on London's Whitehall, where suites can cost an incredible £25,000-a night.

Other luxury properties include a ski chalet in the Swiss alps and villa on the Cote d'Azur.

Friends with rich and famous

Speaking previously about their wealth, Gopi, who took over as chairman of the family business after Srichand’s death last May, said: "If you consider one to be rich because of his money, you are wrong.

“I consider someone to be rich if he has good friends, good contacts, good relationships."

The wealthy family have long rubbed shoulders with politicians, royalty and celebrity A-listers.




Jennifer Lopez and Nicole Scherzinger were reportedly paid a total of £1million to sing at the 2015 wedding of Gopi’s son Sanjay to fashion designer Anu Mahtani.

J-Lo was said to have been put up in a £3,000-a-night suite, while Nicole performed alongside Bollywood stars Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer SinghRead.

No expense spared

The spectacular Bollywood ceremony was held at one of the most exclusive hotels in the Indian city of Udaipur, Jagmandir Island Palace, a location used in the James Bond film, Octopuss*.

More than 15,000 people attended the many events, with 208 privately chartered planes understood to have landed at the airport. Upon arrival, guests - which included Indian actress and Celebrity Big Brother star Shilpa Shetty - were chauffeured around in a fleet of top spec BMWs flown in from Mumbai.

They spent more for one dog than one of their servants

Prosecutor Yves Bertossa

They were also said to have taken specially decorated boats to arrive at the island palace.

The family are known for their love of lavish weddings. The 1996 joint wedding of brothers, Ajay, Ramkrishnan and Dheeraj, was attended by nearly 10,000 people.

However, in 2009, the family decided to 'trim down' one cousin's wedding, inviting just 6,000 people.

Over the years, the Hindujas have forged friendships with Prime Ministers, including Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair - with them inviting the politician and his wife Cherie to a lavish private banquet at their family villa back in 2008.




Rubbing shoulders with royalty

They also met Princess Anne and the late Queen after attending Diwali celebrations at their London home.

King Charles was also pictured enjoying a drink as he chatted to Gopi at a 2019 even and also sent the family a special Diwali message three years later.

The family have not been without their share of controversy though.

In 1992, Srichand's youngest son Dharam killed himself after a family feud over an arranged marriage.

The 22-year-old, a former pupil at the Westminster School, fell for an Anglo-Indian Catholic from Australia but the family disapproved of the match.

The young couple got married at Chelsea Register Office before fleeing to Mauritius. Fearing they would be tracked down, the pair made a suicide pact.

Dharam doused them both in white spirit before setting himself alight. He died after suffering 70 per cent burns while his wife managed to escape and survived.

Nearly a decade later, the family were embroiled in a political row.

After making a £1million donation to the Millennium Dome project, it was revealed that Peter Madelson had speeded up Srichand’s application for a British passport, forcing him to resign as Northern Ireland Secretary in 2001.

However, a report later cleared the politician of any wrongdoing.



Then, in 2022, a family rift was exposed when a senior British judge revealed that he wanted to put dementia-stricken Srichand in a public nursing home because relatives reportedly failed to care for him.

The latest scandal came to light after police swooped on the Geneva mansion in a dawn raid back in 2018, with them seizing £2.7m of evidence.

The court heard that matriarch Kamal was accused of overseeing a “climate of fear” at the property, with her often telling staff that if they went out, they could be arrested by the police and sent back to India.

The indictment read: “They were paid for their work in India, meaning they had no Swiss money and therefore limited freedom in the country.”

Prakash, Kamal, Ajay and Namrata have vowed to appeal against Friday’s verdict, with one of their lawyers declaring: “We’re going to fight it to the bitter end.”


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And a statement from the family issued over the weekend read: “We are appalled and disappointed.

“The family has full faith in the judicial process and remains confident that the truth will prevail.”

The Rich List 2024 - top 20

Lavish life of UK’s richest family… from £250m mansion to £15m wedding with J-Lo (28)

HINDUJA patriarch Srichand and his brothers Gopichand, Prakash and Ashok built the company up after it was established by their late-father Parmanand - leading them to being dubbed the ‘Fab Four’.

1 Gopi Hinduja and family - £37.2 billion
2 Sir Leonard Blavatnik - £29.25 billion
3 David and Simon Reuben and family - £24.98 billion
4 Sir Jim Ratcliffe - £23.52 billion
5 Sir James Dyson and family - £20.8 billion
6 Barnaby and Merlin Swire and family - £17.2 billion
7 Idan Ofer - £14.96 billion
8 Lakshmi Mittal and family - £14.92 billion
9 Guy, George, Alannah and Galen Weston and family - £14.49 billion
10 John Fredriksen and family - £12.87 billion

11 Kirsten and Jorn Rausing - £12.63 billion
12 Alex Gerko - £12.05 billion
13 Michael Platt - £12 billion
14 Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho - £11.75 billion
15 The Duke of Westminster and the Grosvenor family - £10.13 billion
16 Marit, Lisbet and Sigrid Rausing - £9.19 billion
17 Carrie and Francois Perrodo and family - £9.17 billion
18 Nicky Oppenheimer and family - £7.94 billion
19 Lord Bamford and family - £7.65 billion
20 Denise, John and Peter Coates - £7.47 billion

Lavish life of UK’s richest family… from £250m mansion to £15m wedding with J-Lo (2024)
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