Libya has billions in US banks – cable

2011-02-25 08:44

Washington - Libya holds billions of dollars in US bank accounts, according to a confidential US diplomatic cable, which casts light on the global span of the country's oil wealth.

According to a 2010 message from the US embassy in Tripoli, obtained by WikiLeaks, Libya's sovereign wealth fund holds $32bn in cash and "several American banks are each managing $300-500m."

The revelations were made by the fund's boss Mohamed Layas who said most of the $32bn was "in bank deposits that will give us good long-term returns".

As international anger grows over Muammar Gaddafi’s brutal crackdown on protesters, some of those assets abroad could be transformed into targets for international sanctions, if tied to the regime.

While US officials have not specified what steps could be taken against Libya, Washington has recently frozen assets held by Iranian, Zimbabwean and Belorussian officials over rights abuses.

"We have a wide range of tools," said State Department spokesperson Philip Crowley on Thursday, noting financial sanctions were one option.

"There are actions that are being teed up within our government."

In a sign of how plugged into the US financial system Libya has become, Layas said the country had lost money during the collapse of Lehman Brothers and were approached by now convicted swindlers Bernard Madoff and Allen Stanford for investment.

Layas added that the government-controlled fund's "primary investments are in London, in banking and residential and commercial real estate".

  • JohannV - 2011-02-25 09:20

    Greed! One way ticket to hell.

  • LoveJesus - 2011-02-25 09:30

    So why is the idiot calling for the murder of Americans? Twat!

      E.Andlau - 2011-02-25 10:16

      Probably because the US banks he banks with are raping the American public who are in dept with them meaning that they too hate Americans.

      E.Andlau - 2011-02-25 10:17

      So the real question is ... who are these "American banks" really?

  • dennyt - 2011-02-25 09:37

    Why do they all bank with america ?America must just take all that money and giveit back to the people of lybya.They must also use it to compersate families who lost their lved ones

      E.Andlau - 2011-02-25 10:29

      I think the whole idea is that American banks PUT those dictators there so the oil money comes BACK to the US. They help those bad boys to get in power so they come bank here in the lovely US. I dont think the US banks give a hoot about the people of Libya if you look at how they treat their own people here.

      African'shtr - 2011-02-25 11:49

      True that Andlau, the international banks do give cash to these people so that they can get into power, myb Muammar gaddafi was also sponsored by US for his success now he has to give back to US

      E.Andlau - 2011-02-25 12:01

      Is this not an exact replay of the whole Saddam Hussein saga?

  • BigD - 2011-02-25 09:51

    freeze these accounts

      E.Andlau - 2011-02-25 10:49

      Freezing these accounts wont earn back all the interest that this money already generated for these banks.

  • Oupa Willem - 2011-02-25 10:07

    What's sauce for the goose (Zanu-PF with its toothbrush moustached leader.... Oh yes, what other world dictator sported that kind of lip-fungus? Is the African one a disciple of the other?) is sauce for the gander, Libya, or to put it bluntly, Gat-Affie! Pronunciation, in Afrikaans please.

  • E.Andlau - 2011-02-25 10:13

    Ok so its American banks that finance dictators and killers overseas. So ... are they going to stand trial?

      E.Andlau - 2011-02-25 10:14

      So its pretty obvious the banks run everything.

      CAD59 - 2011-02-25 16:16

      look on the net for a movie called ZEITGEIST, it will answer your question rather nicely...

  • E.Andlau - 2011-02-25 10:24

    Dont forget that the US government gave the US banks huge bailouts and gave the American public nothing. Meaning that if you owed these banks money you STILL owe them money despite the fact that they already got it all refunded by the US government ... so ... now the finger is pointing at the US government right?

  • Fikile - 2011-02-25 10:31

    USA LOL what a joke, be careful they don't bring democracy to the rest of the world LOL, can't believe US public is so stupid, that's the reason their government can get away with murder, why did they accept the money into their banks anyway, LOL, complicity.

      E.Andlau - 2011-02-25 10:37

      The US public is not stupid. There is just nothing that they can do about it. The US is not a real democracy by the way.

      pointblankza - 2011-02-25 10:38

      You don't understand how International Banking works do you? Diplomatic relationships? Anything?

      E.Andlau - 2011-02-25 10:43

      So the people of Libya are diplomatically screwed?

  • Ian van Jaarsveld - 2011-02-25 10:35

    We should all be asking THE QUESTION: "Where is South Africa's sovereign funds being held"? I hope too goodness it is not in Libya considering the ruling party's rather intimate friendship with that despot. Now actually: M/s Marcus, an ANC member by the way: "where are our sovereign offshore treasury funds held and what is the extant of same"?

  • JiveTalking - 2011-02-25 10:57

    Are we waking up yet? Beginning to see how it all works? International bankers are the people really ruling the world. Trace it back to London

      E.Andlau - 2011-02-25 11:43

      So it all ends up as fish and chips? :-)

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