Virgin Galactic ticket to space embroiled in ‘billionaire’ divorce battle


An alleged billionaire, famous for buying one of the first tickets to fly on Virgin Galactic’s space shuttle, is fighting to save his wealth in a Family Court.

Ashish Thakkar claims that he owns just £445,532 in assets, despite recently buying a ticket to space costing more than £160,000.

His wife, Meera Manek, says her former husband is concealing millions in wealth, and argues that the Virgin Galactic ticket, which is fully refundable up until the date of the flight, should be “cashed in” to fund the divorce settlement.

Speaking to British national paper, the Telegraph, a source close to the family said: “The Virgin Galactic flight will be discussed in court.

“It is an asset Ashish still holds and will be considered as part of the investigation into his total wealth. Meera will demand the cost of the ticket be counted in his assets. She could demand he cashes it in.”

The 2015 Sunday Times Rich List estimated Mr Thakkar’s wealth at £500 million, but to add to the confusion, he was not featured in the 2016 edition.

Ms Manek argues that her husband is the beneficiary of a “complex series of companies held offshore”. Mr Manek claims that his alleged wealth, including the IT, banking and property empire, The Mara Group, belongs to his mother and sister.

The couple, who split in 2013, will now sit through a five-day trial at a court in London. A separate trial will then decide how much Ms Manek should receive.

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