10 billion euros of Libyan frozen assets in Belgium vanished, Le Vif reports
Updated on Friday: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, Didier Reynders, refuted Le Vif report as fake news
10 out of 16 billion euros disappeared from the Libyan frozen assets in Belgium, Le Vif - a Belgian paper revealed - adding that those assets were controlled by the inner circle of Muamar Gaddafi.
Libyan assets are frozen since 2011 by a UNSC resolution 1973.
According to judicial sources in Belgium, the authorities found the disappearance of a significant part of those assets by the end of 2017, when an investigation into money laundering sought to seize the 16 billion euros. While at the same time, Belgium did not take any decision to unfreeze the evaporated assets.
Over 16 billion euros were 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, it turned out that on the four accounts just over 5 billion euros remained out of the 16 billion euros, while the four accounts at Euroclear are owned by LIA and LFICO.
"EU ministerial council issued an order on January 18, 2016 altering 2011 laws and thus allowing freezing the assets with the accessibility to their interests." Belgian Foreign Minister was reported as saying.
Federal Parliament of Belgium, however, thinks that the country did not fully respect the freezing resolution of the UN Security Council, fearing that the vanished money would be used in funding terrorist attacks and thus leads to the loss of Belgium's credibility in the international circles.