British businessman killed on first day in Thailand

Motorbike crash: Adnan Lotia was on the Thai holiday island of Koh Phangan when he died


A British entrepreneur was killed in a motorcycle crash a day after arriving on a holiday island in Thailand.

Adnan Lotia, 36, from Northolt, was managing director of Theater Tickets Direct, an online marketplace for West End shows.

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A keen sportsman, he had traveled to Koh Phangan for three weeks of boxing training after which he was due to attend a cricket tournament in Phuket. But he was injured in a crash on the island on March 27 and died that day.

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Today his aunt Tasneem and uncle Ibrahim Vallijee paid tribute to their “generous and humble” nephew. Mrs Vallijee, 41, said: “He was a very honest, generous person who cared about people. Now we’re getting so many phone calls — everyone has a story to tell about how helpful he was.

“We’re not that much older than him really, it was more like a friend or being an older brother and sister. It was a really nice relationship for us.

“He was only ever a phone call away. Even after he moved out we always had a very close relationship. He would come round at least once a week.

“His work was his passion. Online is 24 hours so he never really switched off. But he loved travelling, he was quite adventurous.”

Mr Lotia moved from Karachi in Pakistan when he was 18 to study systems engineering at the American International University in Richmond. During his studies he lived with his aunt and uncle in Hayes. Mr Vallijee, who flew to Bangkok to attend Mr Lotia’s funeral, said it had been his nephew’s fifth trip to Thailand.

Mohamed Vasi Shaikh, 33, a close friend and fellow member of Wycombe House Cricket Club in Osterley, said: “It was very sad. He was a great guy, absolutely fun-loving.”

Dominika Abel, who met Mr Lotia when the pair worked as cashiers at the Leicester Square Box Office and went on to launch Theatre Tickets Direct with him, described him as a “great personality” who “wore his heart on his sleeve and had amazing charisma”.

She told the Standard: “You couldn’t help but like him — if you knew him for one minute you would think he’s an amazing guy. He had so many plans for the business, he was really happy and looking forward to the future.

“It’s still hard to come to terms with. But the business has to carry on — that’s what Adnan would have wanted.”

Richard Cullen, who coached young players with Mr Lotia at Wycombe House, said the entrepreneur’s “enthusiasm for the game of cricket was unparalleled”. He said: “Adnan’s life was a joy. He would light a room up simply by walking in. His smile, disarming manner and sense of humour made for an incredibly infectious character.”

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are providing support to the family of a British man who died in Thailand on March 27.”

-Evening Standard

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