Libyana Officials Charged with Embezzlement

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On Saturday, the Libyan Attorney General ordered the pre-trial detention of the former Chairman of the Board of Directors of Libyana Mobile Phone Company (hereafter referred to as Libayana) and three other Board Members over charges of embezzlement of five million Libyan dinars (LYD) of the company’s funds.

In a statement, the Office of the Attorney General said that they examined the Audit Bureau’s report regarding the contracts concluded by Libyana over the implementation of projects in 2021.

According to the report, it was clear that the company officials violated the rules governing the contracting procedures and embezzled the company’s funds.

They also face charges of obtaining material benefits in violation of laws and spending public money in a manner other than its intended purpose.

The preliminary investigation revealed that the company’s Board Members failed to perform their duty after they deliberately delayed the conclusion of contracts for the implementation of a cellular signal improvement project. They did this with the contracting authority for a period of three months from the date of bid submission.

After that, they opted to conclude another contract for implementing the project at a cost of 14 million LYD, an increase of 5 million LYD over the previous bid.

The statement concluded that the Attorney General ordered that the accused be held in pretrial detention pending the completion of investigations.

In September, officials of Libya’s General Training Center of the Ministry of Education were arrested on charges of embezzling public money, and forging official documents, according to the Attorney General’s Office.

The Office said in a statement that the Anti-Corruption Prosecution in the Tripoli Court of Appeals investigated a complaint filed by an employee of the General Training Center.

The investigations discovered that the accused “had committed crimes of seizing public money.”

They also have been accused of “forging official documents required by the Administrative Contract Regulations, and misusing the authority of their job.”

In April, the Public Prosecution announced that the health sector illegally collected 74.273 million LYD from the state. This was during the 2017-2020 period of the former Government of National Accord (GNA), headed by Fayez Al-Sarraj.

Included among the violations that the prosecution has proven were extraordinarily high hospital bills by private medical practices. These reportedly received sums of money from citizens in the form of guarantees, despite the state guaranteeing the expenses.