By Sami Zaptia:
London, 10 March 2018:
The LIA has denied media reports that Libyan assets had gone missing. In its statement yesterday, it refuted claims that some of its assets had gone missing. Both the Belgian Foreign and Finance Ministers have also refuted the claim.
It will be recalled that Belgian weekly Le Vif had reported on Thursday that authorities had discovered the disappearance of 10 billion euros of frozen Libyan assets held at Euroclear Bank.
The money had allegedly disappeared in the period 2013 to 2017 from four LIA and Libyan Foreign Investment Company (LAFICO) bank accounts. As of 29 Nov 2013, these accounts had held more than 16 billion euros.
However, in the autumn of 2017 it became clear that the accounts held just five billion euros, the Le Vif report said. They were only discovered to be missing, the report says, when Belgian judicial authorities reportedly noticed that money went missing in 2017. An investigating magistrate had wanted to seize the frozen funds as part of a probe into alleged money laundering by Qaddafi’s inner circle.
It will be recalled that accounts held by the Libyan state, members and associates of the former regime had all been frozen by a United Nations Security Council resolution in 2011 after the outbreak of the Libyan revolution.
Le Vif still stands by its claim, however.