Libya’s SWF head arrested over corruption

Businessman_arrestedAn arrest warrant has been issued for the chairman of Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) over allegations of corruption. The warrant was issued by Libya’s Attorney General’s office and it has been reported that Ali Mahmoud Hassan Mohammed has since been detained on charges of “corruption and exploitation of his position”. Libya’s sovereign wealth fund has defended its chairman and stated that it is confident of his innocence. A spokesman told the Libya Herald that “the LIA is shocked by the allegations against [Mohammed] and his reported treatment”. The arrest is yet another legal problem for the LIA which holds roughly $66 billion in assets, most of which have been frozen under US sanctions imposed in 2011 following the coup which deposed former leader Muammar Gaddafi. In November, Mohammed announced plans to hire an auditor in a bid to have the fund’s assets unlocked and to refute allegations that money had gone missing from the fund. In addition to its bid to have sanctions lifted, the LIA is also the subject of a senior executive power struggle due to the presence of competing governments in the country. Mohammed was appointed as the fund’s chairman by the UN-backed, Tripoli-based government. Meanwhile there is a rival government operating in eastern Libya which has laid claim to the fund. According to the LIA, the arrest of its current chairman is likely related to this power struggle. An LIA spokesman stated: “It is no coincidence that this has happened only a week before a court hearing in London involving [Mohammed] against individuals purporting to be the chairman of the LIA, namely Abdulmajid Breish and Dr Hussein.” ©2019 funds global mena

Executive Interviews

INTERVIEW: ‘Financing is the blood of Iran’s economy’

Jan 04, 2019

Amid a fresh wave of American sanctions, Romil Patel spoke to Meysam Hamedi, director of financial markets and instruments at Iran’s Securities & Exchange Organization (SEO).

INTERVIEW: Totally mega

Jun 13, 2018

In 2016, global consulting firm PWC forecast the emergence of five global ‘megatrends’ in the next two decades. Stephen Anderson, its Middle East clients and markets leader, talks about their...


ROUNDTABLE: Hooked to the global caravan

Jan 04, 2019

With the MENA region at a tipping point, our panellists talk about economic diversification, the impact of regulation and the delayed Saudi Aramco listing. Chaired by Romil Patel in Dubai.

MENA ROUNDTABLE: ‘The story is about reforms’

Jun 13, 2018

Our cross-industry panel discuss the positive backdrop in Egypt, the Dana Gas controversy and the potential index upgrades of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Chaired by George Mitton in Dubai.