By Sami Zaptia.
London, 8 November 2016:
Libya’s Audit Bureau announced yesterday that it has frozen the bank accounts of a number of companies and individuals. It did not state how many nor did it name the companies or individuals.
In the short report scant of details, the state financial watchdog said the concerned accounts were being frozen for ‘‘causing harm to public funds and the national economy’’ due to being implicated in ‘‘foreign currency smuggling and forged document’’.
The Audit Bureau ordered all Libyan banks to refrain from opening any bank accounts for the concerned parties without its prior permission.
The watchdog also froze the accounts of an unnamed company accused ospecifically of smuggling Euro 9 million. It ordered that the bank accounts of this company are to remain frozen until it refunded the amount in Euros into the Central Bank of Libya’s (CBL) account.
It should be recalled that the Audit Bureau has been attempting against all the odds to prosecute financial irregularities and fraud together with the Public Prosecutors’ Office (PPO) and CBL. However, the absence of rule of law due to Libya’s weak security apparatus post the 2011 revolution has made this an uphill struggle.
In March of this year the CBL had announced that it had frozen 600 bank accounts for money-laundering and had referred them to the PPO.