UN PANEL FINDS BELGIUM IN VIOLATION OF LIBYA SANCTIONS

Politico on 11th September reported that a UN panel of experts on Libya has said that Belgium is in violation of international sanctions targeting assets once owned by the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.  This follows an investigation published by Politico earlier this year that showed that tens of millions of euros in interest payments from Gaddafi’s frozen funds managed by Euroclear — a financial institution headquartered in Brussels — were still being paid out.  The money was channelled to mystery beneficiaries behind accounts managed by the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), the country’s sovereign fund. The Panel considers the payments of interest and other earnings to be in non-compliance with the asset freeze.  It remains unclear what exactly has happened to the money sent from Belgium, and the UN findings also potentially pit it against the EU, where Member States determined in October 2011 that the sanctions were only applicable to the original frozen assets and not any interest earned after September 2011, when the sanctions first came into force.  LIA funds are locked in at least 4 bank accounts managed by Euroclear in Belgium and frozen funds invested in shares before 2011 have risen in value to €14 billion.

https://www.politico.eu/article/un-panel-finds-belgium-in-violation-of-libya-sanctions/

the Politico investigation referred to dates from February 2018 and is available at –

https://www.politico.eu/article/muammar-gaddafi-frozen-funds-belgium-unknown-beneficiaries/

It discovered big, regular outflows of stock dividends, bond income and interest payments.  Gaddafi’s wealth is meant to be held in trust for the Libyan people until the war-shattered country stabilises, but interest payments flowed from frozen accounts in Brussels to bank accounts in Luxembourg and Bahrain.

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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