LIBYAPROSPECT – London
Three henchmen of the late Libyan tyrant Muammar Gaddafi, who were linked to the murder and suppression of the Libyan revolution in 2011 have been found living lavish in Britain, according to BuzzFeed News.
The men are wanted by prosecutors in Libya for supposedly stealing state assets following the successful Libyan uprising. BuzzFeed News has reported that they believe the men have been provided safety in Britain despite being accused of laundering millions of Pounds through British banks.
General Ahmed Mahmoud Al-Zwai, the brigadier Juma El-Maarfi, and a third individual who has been unnamed for legal reasons were all members of Gaddafi’s oppressive regime, and all had a part to play in the Libyan uprising of 2011.
Al-Zwai is suspected of laundering millions of Dollars through properties in a network of offshore companies and businesses. He was known to have maintained Gaddafi’s missile stockpile; recently BuzzFeed News found that he was living in an affluent area in Surrey.
El-Maarfi was a commander of a brigade in Gaddafi’s army; he is accused of fleeing from Libya with a fortune no less that £14 Million after Gaddafi’s death.
BuzzFeed News claim to have tracked him down to a vast and expensive house in southwest London. BuzzFeed News also went on to say that his son who fled with him to the UK was incarcerated two years ago for a brutal attack on a teenager, he stabbed the teenager with a kitchen knife, and then he carved his initials into the abdomen of the victim who was unconscious and beaten at the time.
BuzzFeed News said that it was banned from identifying the third man, the man hired top lawyers to enact a gagging order from the high court on Monday. The order from the court is in full effect, and BuzzFeed News are not even allowed to disclose any information about him whatsoever.
Multiple lawyers and investigators working on behalf of the Libyan State claim that Al-Zwai, El-Maarfi, and the third suspect are three of many figures from the Gaddafi regime who have stolen assets from Libya, which amount to a total of $10 Billion in the UK. The Libyan authorities claim that the British government had done nothing to help the Libyans investigate. Instead, they have allowed all three men to live and settle in Britain, using Britain as a haven.
When approached by BuzzFeed News, Al-Zwai ultimately denied the allegations made against him and denied that he stole assets from the state. Also, BuzzFeed News Reports that the Libyan Transitional Government of 2012 wrote to Britain’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) requesting assistance in recovering the money that had been stolen from the state by 240 former Gaddafi regime figures. The letter sent to the SOCA warned that some of the money taken from Libya had been hidden in Britain, but it was an unheard cry for assistance.
An investigator appointed by Libya’s Transitional government to help track the stolen assets, Abdelhamid Eljadi, claimed that $30 Billion was found in Swiss bank accounts and $50 Billion in the United Arab Emirates, but British authorities have not assisted in recovering the assets that are in the UK.
Eljadi is quoted saying that “we are aware of the $10 Billion of stolen assets in the UK banks, and the British government is aware of that the problem is governments like the UK, which tend to be democratic and anti-corruption protect these people. They are giving them a haven.”
There is still a long way for the Libyan authorities to recover all of the stolen assets, there is also a question mark on whether they will even recover them.