UK foils £900m transfer to Libya

2011-03-01 09:01

London - Britain on Monday announced that it had foiled a plan by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to move mint Libyan banknotes worth £900m out of Britain.

"The Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister) intervened to block the departure of £900m in notes destined for Libya," British Prime Minister David Cameron said.

It emerged on Sunday that there was an attempt made to transfer £900m of uncirculated banknotes from a British secure storage facility to Libya.

The request, which was reported by the facility, was legal at the time, prompting the British treasury to use stalling methods to prevent the money leaving the country and possibly into the hands of Gaddafi's mercenaries.

Libyan authorities were first told there was no aircraft ready, and when they offered to send their own, were told to land at an airfield in Kent, south east England, despite the money being stored in the country's north east.

The British government on Sunday announced it was freezing Libya's British-held assets and the money was impounded before it could leave the country.

- SAPA

Read more on:    david cameron  |  muammar gaddafi  |  uk  |  libya  |  north africa  |  uprisings  |  libya protests
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