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18 March 2013 - Media release

INTERPOL Chief Libya mission to advance recovery of stolen assets during Gaddafi regime

Assistance in locating and extraditing wanted Libyan fugitives also high on agenda

TRIPOLI, Libya – Identifying how INTERPOL can provide additional assistance in the recovery of assets stolen during the Gaddafi regime and help enhance national and regional security were key issues during a meeting between INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble and Prime Minister Ali Zeidan.

With Secretary General Noble also meeting Interior Minister Ashour Shuwail and Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdelaziz, high on the agenda of Mr Noble’s two-day mission (16 and 17 March) was INTERPOL’s active role in helping Libya identify, locate  and extradite fugitives through the publication of Red Notices, or international wanted persons alerts.

“As Libya continues to rebuild its infrastructure following the 2011 overthrowing of Gaddafi, INTERPOL member countries can help Libya track down not only fugitives, but the millions if not billions in assets stolen by Colonel Gaddafi, his family and associates,” stated Secretary General Noble.

Libya’s Prime Minister Zeidan, Foreign Minister Abdelaziz, and Interior Minister Shuwail were united in their support of INTERPOL’s providing technical assistance and creating a joint public private task force that would collaborate with Libya to help track down and repatriate the assets looted from the country during the Gaddafi regime.

“These stolen assets need to be recovered so that ‘they can be made available to and for the benefit of the people of Libya’ as required by several UN Security Council resolutions.  If INTERPOL is successful, then it will help Libya in its efforts to build a peaceful, secure, independent and free Libya,” concluded Mr Noble.

With security the highest priority in the country, the INTERPOL Chief’s visit comes just days after the inauguration of INTERPOL’s real-time passport screening system at Tripoli International Airport as part of international efforts to improve Libyan border security.

Under INTERPOL’s EUR 2.2 million Project RELINC (Rebuilding Libya’s Investigative Capability) funded by the EU, Libyan border control authorities can now directly access INTERPOL’s global database to detect stolen and lost passports, enabling the instant identification of persons seeking to conceal their true identity, including internationally wanted persons, suspected terrorists and transnational criminals.

The INTERPOL Chief’s visit also allowed him to emphasize INTERPOL’s ongoing efforts to help bring about the arrest of a number of fugitives subject to Red Notices issued at Libya’s request, including Colonel Gaddafi’s former director of military intelligence, Abdullah Al-Senussi, who was extradited to Tripoli from Mauritania in September last year as the most recent example of their success.

“INTERPOL’s Red Notices are proven effective tools in assisting member countries locate fugitives, no matter where they attempt to hide, and no matter how long ago the offence was committed,” said Secretary General Noble, pointing to the Red Notice issued for Faraj Al-Chalabi at Libya’s request in connection with the murder of two German nationals in 1994. One of Al-Chalabi’s co-accused was Osama bin Laden, who was also the subject of a Red Notice issued at Libya’s request.