Libyan Bank Officials Detained over Corruption

Libyan Attorney General, Al-Siddiq Al-Sour
Libyan Attorney General, Al-Siddiq Al-Sour

The Libyan Attorney General, Al-Siddiq Al-Sour ordered the detention of the Chairman and members of the Board of Directors of the Al-Waha Bank, including the former Director of the bank.

A judicial source told local media that the bank officials are accused of “illegally giving depositors’ funds to some customers to establish projects. This was with the promise that the customers will return money to the bank over the coming years.”

Al-Sour is leading a campaign against corruption in the Libyan state institutions. Dozens of officials and diplomats were arrested in connection with embezzlement, corruption, and abuse of power. Libyan banking officials were also arrested over embezzlement charges.

In December, the Attorney General ordered the detention of a former manager of Al Wahda Bank, Zalten branch, on charges of embezzling 338,000 Libyan dinars.

The Media Office of the Attorney General said that “it became clear to the investigator that the bank official abused his powers, and made several transfers to disguise the source of the money.”

The statement added that “the evidence proved that the accused was guilty of embezzling the funds.” The prosecution has decided to remand him in custody.

In October, the Attorney General ordered the detention of officials at the Al Wahda Bank in the city of Ajaylat over charges of forgery and financial corruption.

In a statement, the Attorney General’s Office said that this came after a report was submitted by the Head of the Audit Bureau against the Director and Deputy Director of the bank.

According to preliminary investigations, the men had “conducted illegal banking operations on their clients’ accounts, using forged bank cheques.” They also reportedly received “illegal material benefits and violated the disciplinary duties by exceeding the limits of their competencies.”

This comes as “part of the Public Prosecution’s efforts to continue combating corruption, and apprehending perpetrators.”