Libyan despot, Muammer Qaddafi has secretly deposited £3 billion with one of Mayfair’s private wealth managers in a bid to protect his family’s fortunes.
A Swiss-based intermediary brokered the deal on his behalf last week.
The intermediary had previously approached another well-known City stockbroking firm five weeks ago with a view to depositing funds.
However, when that stockbroker discovered the ultimate identity of the source of the funds, it advised the intermediary to take his business elsewhere.
“I said no, because personally I’m not comfortable dealing with murdering tyrants with blood on their hands”, the chief executive of the firm told The Times.
The UK Treasury has stepped up efforts to trace and freeze Qaddafi’s assets in Britain.
The assets include billions of dollars in bank accounts, some commercial property and a £10 million mansion in London.
At the same time, the US government is escalating attempts to prevent the dictator from moving assets out of Libya.
The government has told American banks to monitor closely transactions that may be linked to the crisis.
Meanwhile, the Swiss government has assigned its banks to freeze any assets belonging to Qaddafi, issuing a comprehensive blocking order covering 29 people, including the dictator’s wife and children, some of his wife’s relatives and six officials of the regime.
It is believed, though, that the Qaddafi family may have moved much of their money out of Switzerland already.
The revelation confirms fears that the Libyan dictator, whose 42-year regime is closer to collapse than ever, has been secreting money out of his oil-rich but financially impoverished nation and into private accounts around the world.
Now, the question remains who would cash in the money or other assets of the Libyan dictator and his family, which have been frozen elsewhere in the world?