Libyans Arrested Attempting to Smuggle €3 Million


Libyan Internal Security Agency (ISA) thwarted an attempt to smuggle €3 million euros through the Kavali ship heading from Misrata to Turkey.

The ISA said that one of the ship’s crew, and two members of the Customs Authority at the Misrata Port are involved in the case.

Notably, Libya’s smuggled and frozen funds, which include billions of dollars in cash, bonds, deposits, large hotels, lands, yachts, luxury cars, and private planes, are owned by the state, which is unable to benefit from them.

The Libyan authorities claim they do not know the total amount of the funds that were “looted and smuggled” abroad. Furthermore, the authorities have not revealed the total amount of smuggled assets in official reports.

In January, the ISA thwarted an attempt to smuggle a large sum of dollars and euros through an Afriqiyah Airways flight at Misrata International Airport. In a statement, the Libya agency said that the security men seized $1.4 million in addition to €1.3 million hidden in the luggage of two travellers who were on their way to Turkey.

The agency added that the seizures and the accused were referred to the competent authorities to complete the legal procedures against them. “The operation comes as part of the ongoing efforts to combat the crime of foreign exchange smuggling outside of Libya,” the statement concluded.

In December 2021, the ISA stopped another attempt to smuggle €326,500 to Turkey through Libyan Mitiga airport. In a statement, the security agency said that four Libyan travellers were apprehended at the airport, as they attempted to travel to Turkey.

The agency added that it had taken legal measures against them, and stressed it was “ready and vigilant” in stopping smugglers.

The years of intense chaos and corruption caused the former United Nations Special Envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame, to reveal the rampant financial corruption in Libya, and confirm its existence.

“There is a new millionaire every day in the country, and the middle class is shrinking day by day” Salame noted. The political class, he added, “is shamefully corrupt and fortunes collected from political ranks are being invested abroad. Politicians in Libya seize public money and invest it overseas.”