Libyan Minister: CBL Governor Illegally Paid $50 million to Turkish Company

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Former Libyan Finance Minister, Faraj Boumatri has accused the Governor of the Central Bank of Libya, Al-Siddiq Al-Kabeer of illegally paying more than $50 million dollars to a Turkish company, Cengiz Construction.

Boumtari, the Finance Minister in the outgoing Government of National Accord (GNA), warned that this may push other companies to demand state funds abroad.

“The funds of the Central Bank were disposed of in Ziraat Bank, to pay the value of a debt owed by the Libyan state to the Turkish company Cengiz Construction,” Boumtari said Monday in an interview with Al-Wasat TV.

“Legally speaking, the one responsible for paying debts is the Ministry of Finance in coordination with the Cases Department,” he explained. “When I was in office, the ministry addressed the Cases Department on this issue, and it recommended to not pay the debt now. I was surprised that the Central Bank paid the debt, from its Agricultural Bank of Libya account, thus weakening our position as a state,” he added.

“We were asked in the ministry to prepare some correspondence on this subject to cover that matter, but we rejected. We requested the CBL to adhere to its limits and not to take this step because it harms the interests of the Libyan state. However, this debt was paid and we were involved,” he noted.

Notably, Al-Kabeer remains unwilling to hand over his duties as Governor. This is despite the agreement on the distribution of sovereign positions signed by the 13+13 Committee, during the Libyan dialogue in Bouznika, Morocco.

Last month, the Head of the Liquidity Committee of the CBL- Benghazi branch, Ramsy Al-Agha, announced the disappearance of 15 billion Libyan dinars, ($11.5 billion dollars).

He noted that the money went from the embarked account in favour of the outgoing National Salvation Government. He blamed the CBL’s Governor for the disappearance.