By Sami Zaptia.
London, 29 April 2017:
The Beida-based Audit Bureau, loyal to the House of Representatives in Tobruk, has announced that it has suspended the bank accounts of the Libyan Post Telecommunications and Information Company (LPTIC) placing them under examination and review as part of its role in overseeing public money.
LPTIC is Libya’s state-owned holding company owning all of Libya’s main telecoms, ISP and postal companies. The LPTIC’s suspended accounts are:
- Trade and Development Bank, Beida branch.
- Jumhuriya Bank, Tripoli Post Office branch, Zawia Street.
- Jumhuriya Square branch, Tripoli.
- Libya Gulf bank, Ben Ashour branch, Tripoli.
- Sahary bank, Ben Ashour branch, Tripoli
- National Commercial Bank, Port branch, Tripoli.
- Itihad bank, Jordan.
The Beida-based Audit Bureau also issued two other decrees. The first establishes a committee that would directly handle the oversight functions associated with the LPTIC’s accounts. This decree stipulates that no disbursements are made without the prior approval of the Audit Bureau – with the exception for salaries.
The second decree forms a committee to examine and audit the LPTIC’s accounts in Jordan and Malta.
It is ironic that the LPTIC has fallen foul of the Beida-based Audit Bureau as initially the LPTIC was forced to escape Tripoli during the 2014 summer militia/Libya Dawn coup against the 2014 House of Representatives (HoR) elections. The LPTIC had initially allied itself with the HoR and its Beida-based Abdullah Thinni Interim Government.
However, after the installation of the Faiez Serraj Presidency Council / Government of National Accord (PC/GNA) in Tripoli in March 2016, the LPTIC led by its chairman Faisal Gergab recognized the PC/GNA’s authority. This recognition has caused tension with the eastern authorities.
It is unclear if the Beida-based Audit Bureau will be able to enforce its decree suspending the LPTIC’s bank accounts in Tripoli, Jordan or Malta. It will be recalled that there is a completely separate Tripoli-based Audit Bureau (the original Audit Bureau). It is unclear if any Tripoli-based courts will entertain a request for an order to suspend bank accounts from Beida or enforce a legal action emanating from Beida’s Audit Bureau.
The LPTIC made no comments on the Beida Audit Bureau decree at the time of contact.