Banks increase pressure on Gaddafi

Muamar Gaddafi

Financial institutions are hunting down billions of pounds of Muammar Gaddafi’s UK-based resources as he came under international pressure to quit as Libyan leader.

David Cameron urged the Libyan dictator to “go now” as Britain imposed an asset freeze and a travel ban as part of United Nations-led sanctions against his regime.

And the Prime Minister praised the bravery of UK armed forces involved in the dramatic rescue of oil workers from remote desert locations.

One of the three RAF Hercules aircraft involved in airlifting 160 civilians to safety in Malta appears to have been hit by small arms fire, the Ministry of Defence said.

Mr Cameron issued his strongest challenge yet to Mr Gaddafi as rebel forces took control of a city just 30 miles from Tripoli and were braced for a fight with loyalist forces.

It came after the UN Security Council voted for measures aimed at punishing the regime and gave an unprecedented unanimous backing to refer it to the International Criminal Court. Mr Gaddafi and his family were stripped of diplomatic immunity – preventing them from entering the UK – and banks and other bodies told by the Treasury to prevent them using UK-held funds and assets.

No immediate figure was put on the total value of the assets, including cash, shares, bonds and property, but some reports put it as high as £20 billion. An export ban was also placed on a “significant” consignment of Libyan banknotes – with a face value of around £900 million – amid fears it would be used to fund violence against protesters.

Mr Cameron said: “All of this sends a clear message to this regime: it is time for Colonel Gaddafi to go and to go now. There is no future for Libya that includes him.” Welcoming the second successful military swoop for stranded Britons and overseas colleagues in the eastern desert, Mr Cameron admitted the secret mission had been “risky”.

As the evacuation effort moved into its final stages, another 50 UK nationals were among 200 people heading to the Mediterranean island on board HMS Cumberland after its latest foray to the port city of Benghazi.

A charter flight also landed at Gatwick Airport from Malta carrying 89 Britons – among them oil workers dramatically plucked by special forces in the first such mission. Another aircraft was also due to return.

Source: Press Association

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.