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Head of Libya’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Detained on Corruption Suspicions

Head of Libya’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Detained on Corruption Suspicions

Friday, 8 February, 2019 - 07:00
A general view shows Libya's El Sharara oilfield. (Reuters)
Cairo – Jamal Jawhar

Libyan security forces arrested on Wednesday chairman of the sovereign wealth fund, Ali Mahmoud Hassan Mohamed, on for possible “corruption and exploitation of (his) position,” an official in the attorney general’s office said.

The arrest came two days after he had held talks in Tripoli with Interior Minister at the Government of National Accord Fathi Bashagha.

The discussions discussed combating financial crimes, such as money laundering, said an official statement.

The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), which manages the sovereign fund, defended itself in wake of the arrest, saying it was “a sovereign entity that is responsible for investing funds for the interests of the people.”

The authority said in a statement it was confident Mohamed would be proven innocent. It did not, however, disclose reasons for his arrest.

A judicial source told Asharq Al-Awsat that he was detained at the order of the general prosecutor.

Details of the charges against him were not revealed.

The LIA holds about $66 billion-worth of mostly frozen assets under United Nations sanctions imposed in 2011 when late ruler Moammar al-Gaddafi was toppled.

The authority was established in order to oversee oil revenues in the north African country.

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