$12.3 billion in Gaddafi’s frozen account in Belgium ‘disappears’

Muammar Qaddafi, the Libyan chief of state, attends the 12th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Feb. 2, 2009. Qaddafi was elected chairman of the organization. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jesse B. Awalt/Released)

Local Belgian media has revealed that about 10 billion euros ($12.3 billion) have disappeared from four frozen Euroclear Bank accounts belonging to two Libyan state agencies.

The accounts containing 16.1 billion euros of state funds were frozen since March 2011 in accordance with a United Nations resolution as part of sanctions against the late Muammar Gaddafi’s inner circle, reports weekly newspaper Le Vif.

“There remains a little less than 5 billion euros on the four accounts opened at Euroclear Bank SA,” they quoted Denis Goeman, a spokesman from Brussels prosecutor’s office.

The disappearance was noticed when Belgian authorities tried to seize the funds in 2017 during a probe into alleged money laundering by Gaddafi’s inner circle.

Euroclear Bank had refused to hand over the accounts belonging to Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) and its subsidiary Libyan Foreign Investment Company (LFICO) in Bahrain and Luxembourg, prompting the probe.

European weekly newspaper Politico reported that interest from the accounts was released every month without authorization by the Belgian authority to an “HSBC account in Luxembourg belonging to LIA and to several other LIA accounts at the Arab Banking Corporation whose main shareholder is the Libyan Central Bank.”

The UN placed sanctions on the Libyan government’s assets after NATO’s intervention in 2011. It has since seized about $67 billion from the accounts of the LIA across Europe and North America.

This article by Ismail Akwei was first published on face2faceafrica.com

Published by Ismail Akwei

Ismail Akwei is an international journalist, digital media and communications professional, editor, writer, arts, culture and tourism advocate, human rights activist, pan-Africanist, tech enthusiast and history buff. He has worked with multinational media companies across Africa and has over a decade’s experience in journalism.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: