EU Supports Libya in Recovering Frozen Assets
A representative of the European Union (EU)’s office in Libya, Lise Pate said that the “EU mission stands firmly by Libya’s efforts to recover its frozen money abroad.”
This came during a meeting with the Libyan Asset Recovery and Management Office (LARMO), and representatives of a number of EU organizations in Libya.
Pate affirmed the mission’s readiness to support LARMO, “by assisting in the development of human capacities, in order to enhance the level of outstanding performance of the office’s staff.”
The two sides stressed the importance of “joint cooperation and activating mechanisms to contribute to strengthening channels of communication with European countries hosting Libyan assets and funds.”
LARMO is fighting several legal battles in a number of European courts, to preserve Libyan assets and funds.
In June, a Maltese court ordered the Bank of Valletta to return around €96 million euros, linked to the heirs of late long-time leader, Muammar Gaddafi back to the Libyan state.
In a legal battle that started a year after Gaddafi’s violent overthrow and death in 2011, a Maltese court on Tuesday agreed that the money should be returned to Libya.
Gadaffi’s son, Mutassim was discovered to be the owner of a Maltese-registered company with BOV accounts.
Muatassim, 36, died on 20 October 2011 after being captured at the fall of Sirte.
Libya’s Attorney General represented by Shazoo Ghaznavi also accused the bank of violating know-your-customer rules. These should have prevented it from opening an account for Gaddafi in the first place.
Notably, LARMO announced that it had successfully recovered €56 million euros, for the Libyan Ministry of Interior.
In a statement, LARMO said that the funds are compensation for six Libyan police helicopters, which were destroyed in 2014 as a result of the clashes that took place in Tripoli.
LARMO added that tens of billions of dollars of assets owned by the Libyan people are still missing.
The 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 authorities claim they do not know the total amount of the funds that were “looted and smuggled” abroad. Furthermore, the total amount of smuggled assets have not been noted in official reports.
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