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LIA says interest from Belgian bank Euroclear were “legally deposited” in its overseas bank accounts

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

TRIPOLI – The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) issued a statement on Sunday in which it admitted that interest from Belgian bank Euroclear deposits “has been legally deposited in LIA bank accounts in Luxembourg, UK and Bahrain.”

LIA said “in many jurisdictions (the UK, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Luxembourg for example) the interest and dividends on holdings frozen under the UN sanctions are not frozen.”

In this context, LIA quoted the UK Treasury Financial Sanctions Notice dated 29 September 2011 which states that “interest or other earnings on frozen funds, including dividends on shares, will not be frozen.”

LIA added that it “has no influence over how Belgium thinks or acts in respect of UN sanctions and UN member states are required to notify the UN about movements of monies related to frozen assets.” This comes in reference to a statement made by Belgian Foreign Minister, Didier Reynders, who said that the issue is merely difference of interpretation between the European Union and the United Nations.

However, LIA stated that it is “now in the process of investigating the detail of what happened to the monies deposited in its accounts with Euroclear and shall reporting on this to the UN and relevant/applicable authorities.” LIA added that “no money from Belgium accounts has been misused and no money has been moved from the Belgian Euroclear since end October 2017.”

LIA concluded by stating that “these events took place before the Government of National Accord appointed the Board of Trustees and current management of the LIA.”

Belgian radio RTBF reported that Brussels had financed Libyan militias through the use of interest and dividends on accounts frozen under United Nations sanctions in 2011. RTBF said that when the UN agreed to freeze deposits held by Gaddafi’s administration abroad, Belgium had done so but had not halted payments of interest and dividends.

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