Britain seizes £100m on Libya-bound ship: official

4th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Britain has seized £100 million ($160 million, 117 million euros) of Libyan currency found on a Libya-bound ship and escorted the vessel back to an English port, authorities said Friday.

"A vessel which had been heading to Libya returned to the UK on Wednesday morning. The ship was escorted into the port of Harwich by the UK Border Agency cutter HMS Vigilant," a spokesman for the Home Office said.

"A number of containers were offloaded from the boat and have been taken under control of the UK Border Agency and have been moved to a secure location.

"The cargo is understood to contain a significant quantity of Libyan currency, which is subject to a UN sanction."

The spokesman confirmed media reports that the money was worth £100 million pounds.

Newspaper reports suggested British authorities tracked the vessel to Britain after it tried unsuccessfully to dock in the Libyan capital Tripoli over the weekend.

The UN Security Council on Saturday unanimously ordered a travel and assets ban on Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's regime following the uprising in the north African country.

On Sunday, Britain froze Kadhafi's assets in the country.

The Daily Telegraph said the liquid assets amount to about £20 billion.

© 2011 AFP

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