Financial institution failed to raise alarm over huge write-down of frozen Libyan assets

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Abu Dhabi’s The National reports that a financial institution responsible for a huge write-down in the value of Libyan frozen assets held in the UK remains under investigation after it failed to raise the alarm over a multi-million-pound accounting error, the UK government has revealed.

Officials have refused to identify the institution they have been investigating for at least three months after being forced to revise the amount held by UK companies downwards by up to £840 million to £11.2 billion.

The unidentified bank sent in the wrong figures for a 2017/18 government report and failed to report the discrepancy when it sent in drastically lower figures for the next annual review. The mistake was only picked up in 2019, according to a government statement in parliament this week.

The mistake represented a seven per cent cut in the £12 billion previously identified by the government to have frozen in Britain for the future benefit of the Libyan people.

Victims of terrorist attacks during the 30-year conflict known as The Troubles this week launched a fresh attempt to sue Libya for supplying the Irish Republican Army with plastic explosives during Muammar Qaddafi’s time in power.

The UK Treasury, which has oversight of the body that monitors UK sanctions, declined to say how long it had been investigating the institution involved in the accounting error. It said it could not be named for “legal reasons”.

Read more via The National



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