Regime clan has £4bn in gold reserves, says IMF
Thursday 24 March 2011
The Gaddafi regime is sitting on gold reserves of more than $6.5bn (£4bn) which could potentially provide the funds to pay a mercenary army to continue fighting for months.
International Monetary Fund figures show that Libya holds about 143.8 tonnes of gold, putting it into the top 25 nations in terms of reserves held. The UN Security Council last month voted to impose sanctions on the Libyan regime because of its attacks on civilians, backing an arms embargo and assets freeze. The sanctions have hit the investments of regime allies, the country's sovereign wealth fund and state oil company.
However, many of the gold reserves are believed to be held in Libya, providing the regime with potential funds to pay for the "long war" vowed by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. The no-fly zone and attacks on regime targets by the Western coalition would make it difficult for the regime to transport and sell the gold through normal channels. There was speculation yesterday that some of the reserves could have been shifted south from the central bank in Tripoli to be moved more easily for sale across the border in Chad or Niger.
But Jeffrey Robinson, a writer on money laundering, said it would be nearly impossible to move and sell the gold. "In a civil war you need cash," he said. "As long as he has cash and the ability to murder people, he will have a following. As soon as he runs out of cash, then he's in trouble."
Upheaval in the Arab world has contributed to the driving-up of gold prices to near record highs, with prices yesterday standing at $1,440 per ounce. "Gold is used as insurance for bad governments," Rob McEwen, the chairman of two Canadian gold-mining companies told Reuters yesterday.
- 1 I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' near to camp
- 3 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
- 4 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 5 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Sarah Vine criticises lesbian mother Jack Monroe: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'
'Kidnapped boy may have been abused and murdered by VIP paedophile ring,' say police
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, PC World, GAME and Argos
Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
Michael Brown shooting: Driver smashes into crowd as protests erupt across the US during a second night of unrest
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst - Insurance ...
£25000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent, growing Sales...
£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Multi-skilled graphic designer ...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: Court of Protection Solic...