Belgian authorities have discovered the ‘disappearance’ of 10 billion euros of frozen Libyan assets kept in the Euroclear Bank during the period 2013 to 2017, according to the Le Vif weekly paper.
According to Le Vif magazine, these funds were controlled by the inner circle of ousted and killed Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi.
Over 16 billion euros were located in four accounts opened for the Libyan Investment Authority and Libyan Foreign Investment Company.
The Belgian authorities found the disappearance of a significant part of these funds in the fall of 2017, when an investigation into money laundering sought to seize the 16 billion euros. It turned out that on the four accounts just over 5 billion euros remained.
At the same time, according to the Ministry of Finance, Belgium did not take any decision to unfreeze these assets. The question is, therefore, did Belgium control the assets in a correct way, suggests Le Vif.
The investigation into billions of Gaddafi assets held in Belgium discovered big, regular outflows of stock dividends, bond income, and interest payments. Legal documents, bank statements, emails and dozens of interviews point to a loophole in the sanctions regime.
Since 2011, Libya has been in a state of civil war. The U(S)N-backed Government of National Accord, headquartered in Tripoli, operates in the western part of the country. The eastern part of the country is governed by its parliament, with its headquarters in the city of Tobruk, which is supported by the Libyan National Army. Thousands of people flee from Libya every year trying to escape war and poverty.
Prior to the US led NATO intervention and destruction, Libya was one of richest African nations.