Illicit money flows in Libya cause loss of an average of 12 billion dollars annually

Illicit money flows in Libya cause loss of an average of 12 billion dollars annually

September 21, 2022 - 21:31
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Written By: AbdulkaderAssad

The United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), in partnership with the European Union, revealed in a study under the title “Illicit Financial Flows and Asset Recovery in the State of Libya”, that the average annual loss in the country stands at $1.2 billion and is represented by the immigrants' smuggling mafia, which the report says it generates approximately 236 million dollars.

"These activities generate annual revenues estimated at 450 million to 765 million dollars, of which 89 million to 236 million dollars are in Libya alone." The UNICRI's study has shown.

It also indicated that there's about $30 million worth of arms smuggling with the Libyan armed groups engaged in smuggling and consisting mainly of small arms and light weapons, with the limited lack of effective control over the vast desert lands in Libya, which contributed to creating a haven for arms smuggling.

The report said the value of the Libyan arms trade in the period after the the death of Muammar Gaddafi was about 15 million to 30 million dollars annually.

"Oil smuggling accounts for 20% of the militia’s income, and quantities estimated at between $750 million and $1 billion of Libyan oil are smuggled into Malta every year." The report says.

It adds that transfers outside the control of the Central Bank of Libya by 10% are carried out through illegal means through money laundering operations. It also said that the issuance of false invoices for foreign trade transactions is recurrent, adding that this makes it difficult for the government to monitor money transfers by migrant workers.

The report remarked that peace in Libya will lead to significant economic gains, amounting to 162 billion dollars, according to the study by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) entitled “Peace in Libya: Benefits for Neighboring Countries and the World.” The study stressed “the importance of a rise in economic growth rates, an increase in investments, and job creation within Libya.”