‘Disappearance’ of billions from frozen Qaddafi funds investigated by Belgium

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Belgium is investigating whether funds up to $5 billion from the frozen funds of late Libyan Moammar Qaddafi were disbursed to unknown people and parties in Libya.

Belgian Attorney General Georges Gilkinet said on Monday that he launched an investigation into the disappearance of billions of dollars from Qaddafi’s bank accounts in Libya, adding that the UN was also investigating this.

Gilkinet told the Belgian television channel RTBF that around $5.6 billion disappeared from Belgian banks, adding that all they know is that hundreds of millions that belong to Qaddafi were sent to unknown figures and parties in Libya.

“This means that Belgium did not commit to the UN’s decision to freeze Qaddafi’s assets,” he also said, and called on the government to clarify what happened “so it does not lead to a huge scandal.”

The issue has sparked controversy in Belgium as there are fears of the government’s possible involvement in disbursing this money to armed militias to fund the war in Libya, strengthen chaos and harm stability.

Belguim had frozen all of Qaddafi’s bank accounts in 2011 in compliance with a UN decision. However it later turned out that it did not halt payments of interest and dividends of these funds as they disappeared from the accounts and were sent to mysterious beneficiaries.

Anwar Orief, the head of a Libyan committee to counter smuggled and looted funds, told Al Arabiya.net that he does not have any information about this case.

“We were not asked to launch an investigation to identify the parties (whom the money was sent to) and to monitor the activity of the funds coming into Libya,” Orief added.

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