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Sweden freezes Qaddafi billions

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Sweden freezes Qaddafi billions
08:39 CET+01:00
Sweden has frozen assets hidden by Muammar Qaddafi and his associates worth over 10 billion kronor ($1.6 billion), according to a report in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) daily on Wednesday.

The Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen - FI) declined to confirm the nature of the assets frozen. But according to the newspaper they have been hidden by "a number of people and units which have connections to Qaddafi".

According to DN the total sum is probably considerably more than ten billion kronor.

"We can't comment on where they are and what type of assets they are," FI spokesperson Jonatan Holst told the newspaper, citing bank confidentiality.

According to DN the assets are part of the portfolio held by the Libyan Investment Authority (Lia), which manages gains from oil revenues totalling around 440 billion kronor. Lia owns shares in, among other things, Italian football club Juventus and the publisher Pearson.

Lia also owns property in London and government bonds.

It has previously been reported that Libya has contributed to the building of a mosque in Malmö and researchers in Uppsala have also received funding, as well as the London School of Economic (LSE).

In Denmark, government coalition party Venstre has demanded that luxury properties in Österbro in Copenhagen and Jägersborg should be sold. The properties are valued at around 30 million Danish kronor ($5.7 million).

Venstre wants the revenue from the sales to go to Libyans who have fled the civil war in the country. The party said the demand is reasonable as "Qaddafi's abuse against his own people led to the loss of his legitimacy as the Libyan leader," according to the Danish news agency Ritzau.

The property in Österbro houses the Libyan embassy and the house in Jägersborg has been the home of Muammar Qaddafi's son Motassim Bilal Qaddafi, who previously studied at the Copenhagen Business School.

"The UN resolution may give Denmark the possibility of seizing Qaddafi's assets. After that we want to put in process a legal process so that the assets can be sold and the money given to the rightful owners, Libya's people," Venstre's Karsten Lauritzen said.

"Willingly as help to Libyan refugees nearby," he added.

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