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UAE alleged to be behind disappearance of Libya frozen funds

Central Bank of UAE [Achilver/wikipedia]

The UAE has reportedly drained $10 billion from Libya’s frozen funds in Belgium and given it in support of military strongman Khalifa Haftar, according to Mohamed Amazab, the second deputy chairman of the Supreme Council of the State of Libya.

“I am almost certain of information about Abu Dhabi’s behaviour in Libyan funds frozen in o spend on the military operations of Hafar’s forces,” Amazab said. “These funds are also being spent on financing the Emirati air base, east of Benghazi.”

According to Al Jazeera, Amazab demanded the disclosure of sources of funding for operations and military supplies linked to Hafar’s forces, complaining of the UAE’s repeated refusal to dispose of the frozen Libyan assets.

Ten out of the 16 billion euros are said to have disappeared from Libyan frozen assets in Belgium which were controlled by the inner circle of Muamar Gaddafi. Libya’s assets have been frozen since 2011 according to a UN Security Council resolution.

Read: Haftar gives African mercenaries 9 days to leave southern Libya

According to judicial sources in Belgium, the authorities located the missing funds at the end of last year when an investigation into money laundering was preparing to seize the money.

The 16 billion euros were reportedly located in four accounts opened for the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) and Libyan Foreign Investment Company (LFICO) in Bahrain and Luxembourg.

According to Belgian state officials the four accounts only had around 5 billion euros out of the expected 16 billion euros.

“The EU ministerial council issued an order on 18 January 2016 altering 2011 laws and thus allowing freezing the assets with the accessibility to their interests,” the Belgian Foreign Minister said at the time.

Belgium authorities feared that the vanished money would be used to fund terrorist attacks.

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