Australia trying to trace down Gaddafi’s assets

PTI Melbourne | Updated on February 28, 2011 Published on February 28, 2011

The Australian Government is trying to track down on any possible assets of Libyan leader Mr Muammar Gaddafi, his family or cronies in the country, the Foreign Minister, Mr Kevin Rudd, said today.

Mr Rudd said the Government was working on every resource to trace down any assets belonging to Mr Gaddafi.

“I’m not advised as to whether there are such assets or not, but such an examination is now under way,” Mr Rudd was quoted as saying by the Australian news agency AAP.

“The critical thing is to cause the regime to know that, whether it’s in Australia or any other part of the world, their assets are now being frozen, and this hopefully brings a further item of focus to the mind of this entirely despicable regime,” he said.

The Sun-Herald newspaper had reported that Mr Gaddafi’s sons, Mr Seif al-Islam and Mr Saadi Kadhafi, may have salted away millions of dollars in oil money in Australian investments during a series of visits here over the past nine years.

Australia had announced sanctions against Libya, placing a travel ban and an arms embargo on Mr Gaddafi and his close supporters, and banning the leader and his entourage from engaging in financial transactions with Australians.

The Prime Minister, Ms Julia Gillard, today welcomed the UN’s decision to refer the ongoing violence to the International Criminal Court.

“This is a big step and should be a real warning to Colonel Gaddafi that the world is prepared to hold him to account,” Ms Gillard said, adding that the Government remained concerned about an Australian man detained by Libyan authorities last week.

Mr Rudd also welcomed the UN’s decision to impose tough sanctions but said it should also consider a no-fly zone to prevent further air force attacks on civilians.

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Published on February 28, 2011
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