Gaddafi 'sold 20% of Libya's gold'

Tripoli - Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi sold more than 20% of Libya's gold reserves, worth more than $1bn, in the final days of his regime, the country's central bank governor said on Thursday.

Qassem Azzoz said 1.7 billion dinars worth of fold, or about 29 tons, were sold to local merchants as the regime ran short of cash.

"The gold was liquidated in order to pay salaries and to have liquidity, in Tripoli in particular," Azzoz said.

According to central bank officials the gold likely made its way out of the country to neighbouring Tunisia and beyond.

Azzoz added that the bank's total assets now stand at around $115bn, of which $90bn is abroad.

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