Italy moves on to seize late Gaddafi’s assets worth billions

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Late Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi speaks with former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi at the Chigi palace in Rome 10 June 2009. Photo - Max Rossi/Reuters

The Italian tax police on Wednesday moved to confiscate assets of former Libyan ruler and his relatives worth €1.1 billion ($1.46bn). The measures included a seizure of a 1.5% stake in the Juventus football club.

The Italian Carabinieri announced the seizure will also include the properties of former Libyan secret service chief, Abdallah Senusi. The move comes in response to a request made by the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
According to the Italian investigators, the seized assets were held by two Libyan sovereign funds, the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) and the Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company (Lafico). Authorities insist they are linked to Gaddafi and his regime which was deposed under a NATO-aided rebellion.
Also seized is the Gaddafi family’s 1.25% share in Unicredit, Italy’s largest bank, worth around €611 million ($810mn).
The Italian authorities also confiscated Libya’s 0.58% share in the oil company Eni, which holds a face value of €410 million ($543.77 million). They also went on to capture a 2% share in the Italian group Finmeccanica Defense, well as shares in the Fiat automobile company.
The Italian Finance Guard also got hold of several accounts in different Italian companies as well as 150 hectares of land on the island of Pantelleria, located southwest of Sicily and an apartment in Rome. The list of seized assets also includes two motorcycles, one of which is a Harley Davidson, reports suggested.
The confiscated goods had already been frozen in March 2011 under the UN sanctions against Libya following the 17 February uprising in the country.
Gavino Putzu, lieutenant-colonel of the Finance Guard, indicated in a statement to Channel SkyTV24 that proceeds of the confiscated assets may be given to the victims of Gaddafi regime.
Colonel Muammar Gaddafi died on 20 October last year in the Libyan city of Sirte by NATO-backed rebels after remaining nearly 42 years in power.
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