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Libyan diplomats in London tried to sell assets before expulsion

August 12, 2011 - Tripoli

London-based diplomats loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had tried to sell off embassy assets, including cars, to raise money for the cash-strapped Tripoli regime before being expelled by the British government, sources have revealed.

A senior British official said that the diplomats tried to sell cars, and "anything that wasn't nailed down" at the embassy in Knightsbridge, West London, before it was reopened by the National Transitional Council (NTC) on Tuesday.

It is, however, not clear how much cash they managed to raise, or whether they had kept the money or sent it back to Tripoli, The Telegraph reports.

"The pressure is starting to tell. We understand that across the region Libyan embassies are engaged in fire sales of assets in order to raise money for the cash-strapped Tripoli regime," a senior British official was quoted, as saying.

"We know that this is making Gaddafi increasingly desperate for fuel to run his armed forces. This may reach a tipping point soon," she said, adding that progress in the NATO-led military campaign against Gaddafi, which started in March, had not been "as swift as we would have liked".


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