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Gaddafi’s £3bn secret deposits in Mayfair

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by babu M, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. babu M

    babu M JF-Expert Member

    Feb 26, 2011
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    Colonel Gaddafi secretly deposited £3 billion with one of Mayfair’s private wealth managers last week as he sought to protect his family’s fortunes.

    The deal was brokered on his behalf by a Swiss-based intermediary who had previously approached another well-known City stockbroking firm five weeks ago with a view to depositing funds. However, when that stockbroker discovered the ultimate identity of the source of the funds, it advised the intermediary to take his business elsewhere.

    The chief executive of the firm told The Times: “I said no, because personally I’m not comfortable dealing with murdering tyrants with blood on their hands.”
    The go-between then looked for another firm to take the funds.

    The revelation confirms fears that the Libyan leader, whose 42-year regime is closer to collapse than ever, has been secreting money out of his oil-rich but financially impoverished nation and into private accounts around the world.

    The Treasury yesterday stepped up efforts to trace and freeze Colonel Gaddafi’s assets in Britain, which are believed to include billions of dollars in bank accounts, some commercial property and a £10 million mansion in London.

    The Treasury’s Asset Tracing Unit, set up in October 2007 to implement and administer international financial sanctions, is understood to be supervising the work.

    At the same time, the US Government is escalating attempts to prevent the dictator from moving assets out of Libya, telling American banks to monitor closely transactions that may be linked to the crisis.

    The Swiss Government told its banks yesterday to freeze any assets belonging to Colonel Gaddafi, issuing a comprehensive blocking order covering 29 people, including the dictator’s wife and children, some of his wife’s relatives and six officials of the regime. It is believed, though, that the Gaddafi family may have moved much of their money out of Switzerland already.

    This follows a diplomatic row when, three years ago, Swiss police arrested the dictator’s son, Hannibal, over claims that he had beaten his servants in a Geneva hotel.

    The chief executive of the stockbroking firm that was initially asked to take the money told The Times that he was approached by a Swiss intermediary who said that he wanted to invest £3 billion on behalf of a Libyan family. “It was all very odd — almost like they had looked us up in the Yellow Pages,” he said. “I think the intermediary was perfectly legitimate. You have to remember that, five weeks ago, dealing with Libya was legitimate. But there’s been loads of this — we understand Gaddafi has ten billion in the City.”

    He said that the intermediary had indicated that the money was to have been used to buy stocks. Stockbrokers and investment managers have noted a surge of money from North Africa and the Middle East during the past month.

    Lawyers told The Times that the Mayfair money manager would not have had to apply to the Financial Services Authority, the City watchdog, for clearance under regulations to combat money laundering because the intermediary was the client.

  2. Mallaba

    Mallaba JF-Expert Member

    Feb 26, 2011
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    Meanwhile it's being reported that Gaddafi is weighing up his options in terms of which country to flee to for sanctuary. Zimbabwe is emerging as a firm favourite, with London-based Libyan political activist Guma el-Gamaty, telling the Australian ABC news channel that "quite reliable sources" believe Gaddafi is readying to flee his country and heading to Zimbabwe.
    "Gaddafi's own private plane is loaded with gold bullion and lots of hard currency, mainly dollars, and is preparing to flee to Zimbabwe to stay there with his friend Robert Mugabe. We think this could happen very shortly because the (UN) Security Council is threatening to impose a no-fly zone and we think that Gaddafi will try to escape before this no-fly zone is imposed," Guma el-Gamaty said.