Funds of late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in foreign banks were frozen following a directive from the UN Security Council. However, media reports later suggested that some European banks didn’t extend the measure to include the interest accumulated by the frozen funds, making the consequent assets available for withdrawal.
The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), a government-managed wealth fund, admitted on 11 November that the country had been receiving interest payments from funds that have been frozen in Belgian banks since 2011 following a UN decision, Al Arabiya reported. At the same time, the LIA failed to name the party that benefited from these payments, which lasted until October 2017, suggesting that the money could have been embezzled or misused.
The LIA noted that the interest payments were transferred to «special authority accounts abroad.» The authority further stated that the interest from Gaddafi’s money had been withdrawn in accordance with «the sanctions system imposed by the UN Security Council,» suggesting that it affected only the original funds.
The authority admitted that it is unaware where the money had eventually ended up, as it only knows that they were transferred to the LIA’s accounts in the Euroclear Bank. The LIA explained that the money transfers happened during the previous administration’s term and thus it currently has no information about their final destination. The authority launched an investigation into the matter and promised to present a report to the UN once it is concluded.
Belgian media reported at the end of October that Brussels had launched an investigation into the activities of Belgian banks that had allegedly violated the UN ban on transferring funds that belonged to former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. According to the media reports, the money could have ended up in the hands of armed groups, including those involved in terrorist activities.
Following the death of Gaddafi as a result of the political turmoil in the country, his funds in foreign banks were frozen according to a decision of the UN Security Council in 2011.