On 24 February, Global Trade Review reported that the Libyan central bank’s letter of credit (LC) system may have been exploited for “fraud on a large scale”, researchers believe, after finding LC-based transaction volumes were far higher than actual imports. The national LC system was, at that time, the only way to import certain food, medicine and other goods. The LC system effectively works as a mechanism to free up central bank foreign currency reserves, as importers are forbidden from buying dollars on the open market. The LC system was suspended at the end of September, after the National Oil Corporation stopped making funds from oil sales available to the central bank, accusing it of a lack of transparency.
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