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Independent AfricaLibya apprehends senior customs officials for smuggling gold valued at $2b

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Libya apprehends senior customs officials for smuggling gold valued at $2b

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Libyan authorities apprehended numerous senior customs officials for their involvement in a thwarted plot to smuggle approximately $2 billion worth of gold.

According to a statement from the Attorney General’s Office posted on Facebook, the individuals in custody, including the director-general of the customs authority and the head of customs at Misrata airport, allegedly colluded with others to traffic around 26 tons of gold bullion. This quantity would be valued at approximately $2 billion based on current market prices.

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The intercepted shipment comprises nearly a quarter of Libya’s gold reserves, which stand at approximately 116.6 tons, ranking fourth-highest in Africa.

Since the overthrow of longtime dictator Moammar Al Qaddafi in 2011, Libya has been engulfed in turmoil, marked by political divisions, instability, and violence, thus becoming a focal point for illicit trafficking over the past decade.

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According to Libyan law, only the central bank is authorized to export gold. The Attorney General’s Office initiated an investigation into the matter in January.

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