South Africa to 'surrender' Ghaddafi loot

AFP, Thursday 13 Jun 2013

In line with UN rules, South Africa pledges to repatriate Libyan looted funds, including diamonds and gold worth more than $1 billion

South Africa to
File photo: Libyan men living in Amman carry a pre-Gadhafi era national flag as they shout anti-Gadhafi slogans during a protest in solidarity with the Libyan people near the Libyan Embassy in Amman, Jordan, Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011 (Photo: AP)

South Africa will return assets and cash stashed by the slain Libyan dictator Muammar Ghaddafi in the country after reaching an agreement with Tripoli, the finance ministry said on Thursday.

The two governments agreed on "the repatriation from South Africa of Libyan funds" that are thought to include diamonds and gold worth more than $1 billion.

The assets were placed in South Africa by the Libya Investment Authority, the Libya Africa Investment Portfolio and the Libya Africa Investment Company — funds closely controlled by Ghaddafi.

South Africa's treasury said the assets will be returned in line with UN rules.

South African media last week reported that Libyan investigators had approached the Treasury with evidence that the assets were held by four local banks and two security companies.

"The decision was informed by the fact that the government of Libya established a single body in 2012 to coordinate the repatriation of assets to Libya," the South African government said.

South Africa was opposed to Nato's military intervention in Libya during the rebel uprising against Ghaddafi regime in 2011.

The veteran leader was captured and killed in October 2011 while he was trying to flee his home town of Sirte.

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