By Hadi Fornaji
Tripoli, 23 August:
A Libyan organisation has sought to freeze assets of a Maltese company which it claims did not . . .[restrict]fulfil a €63.6 million contract to deliver Chinese-made SUVs.
The Great Al Fetah (1969) Birth Association, an organisation which granted privileges to those born in 1969, the year Qaddafi seized power, placed the order for 16,000 luxury Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) with Malta-based BH International Ltd on 20 August 2008.
The SUVs were to be luxury 2009 ZXAuto vehicles, reported to be the Grand Hyland 4G64 model, made by the Chinese company Hebei Zhonging Automobile. Only 5,250 cars were delivered, none of which apparently fulfilled the agreed specifications, allegedly having smaller engines and smaller wheels than expected.
The Great Al Fetah Birth Association is now suing BH International Ltd along with shareholders, Adel Ahur, Charlo Briffa and Venture Services Ltd. They have also filed a suit against Asia Investments and Assets Ltd.
The association further alleges that BH International provided false documentation from the Chinese manufacturers. This stated that the SUVs supplied were in fact the vehicles ordered.
Lawyers acting on behalf of the association have requested that the court freeze BH International Ltd assets to the tune of €63.587 million, the entire value of the original deal. Damages are also being sought.
Chinese-made SUVs and pick-up trucks are popular vehicles throughout North Africa . Before the Revolution there were some 15,000 ZXAuto vehicles in Libya. Grand Tiger pick-up trucks were used extensively during the Revolution, initially by freedom fighters and later by pro-Qaddafi forces.
It was not clear this evening who is now pursuing the claim on behalf of the Great Al Fetah Birth Association, which was part of the trappings of the Qaddafi regime [/restrict]