Several international reports speak about huge smuggling operations from Libya to Turkey since the fall of the Libyan state into the hands of armed militias back in 2011. They took control over political, economic and security joints in the state, the Bank of Libya in particular. The smuggling operations include smuggling funds and gold bars.
“The Turks as Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood’s strongest allies, that’s why Ankara is able to plunder the money of Libyan citizens through Libyan agents working in the public sphere,” Dr. Muhammad al-Zubaidi, a professor of Public Law and political analyst said. He indicates that millions of dollars were transferred to Turkey under the pretext of importing food and other materials, but in reality, they were fake deals and the Turkish ships that dock in Libyan ports are either empty or loaded with damaged goods.
According to al-Zubaidi, Al-Sarraj used to send the money to Libya in order to revive the Turkish economy and the collapsing Lira, in return for Erdogan’s political and logistic support.
According to the available data, the MB in Libya is carrying out organized operations with Turkey, in order to smuggle public Libyan money to Ankara. This is happening by making fake deals to obtain money from the Central Bank.
With this way they can smuggle the money abroad within the framework of money theft operations in which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is involved.
Experts in Libyan affairs say that the MB is also involved in smuggling oil money from the Central Bank to the Turkish regime.
The Central Bank of Libya is now controlled by the MB, which gets huge funds from it, through which it pays out rewards to terrorists who have joined it, while the rest of the funds is sent to support the Turkish regime.
On his official Twitter account, Major General Ahmed Al-Mesmari, the official spokesman for the Libyan National Army, said that the Turkish and Qatari governments are involved in robberies against the Libyan people. Those robberies reached billions of dollars. In his tweet, he confirmed that the Turkish regime was involved in stealing $ 25 billion of public Libyan resources during the last period, including $ 2 billion only in the past two months.
He explains that there is cooperation between Turkey and Qatar in fueling the Libyan crisis.
Turkey withholds Libyan funds in its banks
On the other hand, a financial official in the Libyan government confirmed that Turkey is withholding Libyan assets deposited in its banks, claiming that it is demanding compensation for Turkish companies and contracts that have been suspended due to the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime. The issue of Libyan funds deposited in Turkey has come back to the fore due to the liquidity scarcity in Libyan banks.
In this regard, Ramzi Al-Agha, head of the Liquidity Crisis Committee at the Central Bank of Libya, stated that he has confirmed and reliable information regarding instructions from the Governor of the Central Bank not to use Libyan funds deposited in Turkish banks before settling Libyan debts, including the costs of military aid provided to the GNA forces and treating all the wounded Libyans in Turkish hospitals, in addition to paying the costs of transporting mercenaries, implementing judicial rulings to compensate Turkish companies for projects that were carried out in Libya and others that were disrupted due to the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime and the outbreak of the conflict.
Since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, the volume of frozen Libyan funds in Turkish banks is about 4 billion dollars. The Libyan Foreign Bank owns more than 60% of the Arab Turkish Bank’s contributions, while there are other funds deposited in the Turkish Ziraat Bank.
However, Agha revealed that the Libyan Central Bank, which has foreign currency reserves exceeding 80 billion US dollars, transferred a large part of that amount to Turkish banks during the past days, two months after transferring 4 billion dollars.
All these funds are, according to the decision of the Central Bank of Turkey, not withdrawable today and cannot be used by the Libyan state, Agha added.
He indicated that Turkey is exploiting its close relationship with the GNA to benefit from the Libyan funds deposited in its banks in order to compensate for its economic losses and the continuous collapse of the Turkish lira due to the decline in tourism revenues and the suspension of economic activities due to the Coronavirus, without the minimum understanding of the difficult economic, living and humanitarian situation in which the Libyans live.
According to press reports, frozen dollars, looted by Turkey from Libyan banks and sold in Istanbul’s black market, cannot be deposited in banks, but they can be bought in stores because they are so-called frozen dollars, being sold for half and a quarter of the real dollar value in Istanbul, coming in fact from Libyan banks.
The frozen dollar appeared for the first time during the Second Gulf War, when banks were looted.
When money is stolen, its serial numbers are registered, so the US Federal Bank issues an order to stop accepting it in banks, not suitable for trading and dealing. However, it remains valid for buying and selling in black markets. This is exactly what happened in Turkey with the frozen Libyan dollar.
The frozen dollar is an incomplete spoil, in light of the poor economic conditions of Turkey and the collapse of the lira the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan needed to pump hard currency to revive his country’s economy.
While hundreds of millions of USD were being smuggled to Turkey, their serial numbers were reported, so they reached Erdogan as a valueless paper. In order to avoid bigger losses, the Turkish regime then sold the looted USD on the black market, and now Istanbul is known as the freezer of Libyan money.
In Istanbul, $10,000 can be sold for $5000, and in better deals they can be sold for $2500.
It is not forge money, it is just frozen that can be used in the black market against the law.