Tunisia freezes Gaddafi family assets

Reuters , Thursday 24 Mar 2011

Decision follows that of western governments and ends economic ties with the Gaddafi's dating back to the 1980s

Libya's neighbour Tunisia has frozen assets belonging to the family of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, a Tunisian government source said on Thursday.

Western countries, the United Nations and the European Union have already frozen Libyan government and Gaddafi family assets as part of a package of sanctions imposed after Libya's crackdown on a revolt against Gaddafi's rule.

"Tunisia has frozen the assets of Gaddafi and five members of his family following a decision by the United Nations," the source, who did not want to be identified, told Reuters.

The freezing of assets in Tunisia is likely to have a significant impact because Libya has dozens of investments there, including hotels, a chain of petrol stations and a stake in an oil terminal.

Most of those assets are owned by Libyan state investment vehicles, but many of these are de facto controlled by members of Gaddafi's family.

Tunisia is also used by Libya's elite as a base for banking, vacations and healthcare, a practise which dates back to the 1980s and 1990s when international sanctions on Libya meant they had limited access to these services at home.

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