Why hunting Gadaffi’s property billions is a daunting task

  • 13 years ago
  • Uncategorized

Libya’s new rulers face ‘daunting
legal hurdles’ to find billions of pounds in cash, assets and property that the
late leader Muammar Gadaffi and his family stashed across the world, according
to experts.

According to Reuters, estimates
suggest Gaddafi controlled as much as $30 billion (£18.8 billion) in assets in
the Unites States alone as well as large holdings in South Africa and

Gadaffi stashed billions in cash, art and overseas property

Victor Comras, a former money
laundering expert for the United Nations and U.S. State Department, told the
news agency: “Gaddafi was no dummy. 
The obvious and easy money, that held in Western banks and financial
institutions, has largely already been located and blocked.”

As well as large sums of money in secret
accounts and marketable art and collectibles it is believed that Gadaffi’s
assets could also include ‘property held under
assumed names or controlled by trusted associates.’

this money will require very advanced financial forensics and it will still be
quite difficult to locate,” Comras said.

Finding Gadaffi’s overseas property could be
‘almost impossible’

One of the problems facing authorities is that there is ‘no worldwide legal framework
or treaty setting procedures for tracing, recovering and repatriating assets
misappropriated or abused by deposed regimes’, according to Reuters.

Jonathan Winer, a former U.S. State Department official,
said: “There is no single international legal regime so assets will have
to be recovered country by country.” 

Efforts to recover assets could also be complicated by legal
claims.  For example, claims could
be made by victims of violence such as IRA bombings in Northern Ireland carried out with explosives allegedly
supplied by Gaddafi.

Dealing with legal claims and recovering all cash and overseas
property assets acquired over Gaddafi’s 42 year reign as leader of Libya is
going to be an ‘unholy legal mess to sort out,’ Winer said.






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