Head of the Investigations Bureau at Libya’s Attorney General’s Office, Siddiq Al-Sour, issued an arrest warrant for the Libyan Investment Authority’s (LIA) chairperson, Ali Mahmoud Hassan, and there are unconfirmed reports that he was actually arrested on Wednesday at Tripoli’s Mitiga airport.
The LIA’s chairperson is facing charges of corruption and embezzlement, according to Libyan media reports.
The LIA is Libya’s main sovereign wealth fund, Africa’s largest, and is in charge of investments estimated at over $66 billion, which are managed from the LIA’s two offices – in Tripoli and Malta.
The LIA’s subsidiary in Malta, the Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company Ltd (Lafico), has wide-ranging business interests in Malta, some of which are in partnership with the government. These include investments in the Corinthia Group, the Vivaldi and Milano Due hotels, Medavia, and Medelec.
The Libyan government has so far not made any official statement on the reports.
The spokesperson for the Special Deterrent Force (SDF), Ahmed Ali, said that the Attorney General Office had issued the order for Hassan’s arrest on corruption charges.
“The head of the LIA is imprisoned in the Reform and Rehabilitation Institution in Tripoli, under the Ministry of Justice, in accordance with the legal procedures followed,” Ali said.
The spokesperson also confirmed that the corruption investigations are being carried out under direct supervision of the Attorney General’s Office, Reuters reported.
Hassan has been appointed as the CEO of the LIA in August 2016.