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US slaps sanctions on entities associated with Gaddafi regime

world Updated: Jun 22, 2011 15:05 IST

As part of efforts to tighten the noose against Muammar Gaddafi's regime, the US has slapped sanctions against nine Libyan entities, including a Karachi-based company which is jointly owned by the governments of Libya and Pakistan.

The US treasury department on Tuesday said it had targeted three foreign Libyan-owned banks and identified six additional companies, including four foreign firms, subject to sanctions.

The four foreign companies include Ghana Libya Arab Holding Co and its tourist subsidiary Glahco Hotels and Tourism Development Co; a Pakistan fund, Pak-Libya Holding Co; and a Norwegian chemical company, Libyan Norwegian Fertiliser Co.

Pak-Libya Holding Company is a Pakistan-based entity that is 50% owned by Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company (LAFICO), a subsidiary of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA).

The Government of Pakistan owns the remaining 50% of the company's shares, the US Department of Treasury said in a statement, declaring sanctions against nine companies.

"The Treasury Department is carefully monitoring Libyan-associated entities worldwide to ensure that they are not attempting to evade sanctions and assist the Gaddafi regime," US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control Director Director Adam Szubin said.

"We will remain vigilant in our efforts to isolate the Gaddafi regime from international financial system," he said.

The Treasury department was blocking their right to have transactions with US businesses or citizens.

The Treasury also removed sanctions against Libya's former oil minister and former chairman of the National Oil Corporation of Libya, Shukri Mohammed Ghanem, who had defected from the Gaddafi regime in May 2011.

"Our sanctions are intended to prevent harm and change behaviour... To the extent that sanctioned individuals distance themselves from the Gaddafi regime, these measures can be lifted," the official added.

The Treasury also issued a license to specifically exclude three banks – Arab Turkish Bank, North Africa International Bank, and North Africa Commercial Bank – from certain authorisations.

With the exception of the three banks, General License No 1B continues to authorise transactions involving banks that are owned or controlled by the government of Libya and organised under the laws of a country other than Libya provided that the transactions do not otherwise benefit the Gaddafi regime or any other person whose property and interests in property are blocked.

Libyan Arab Foreign Bank subsidiaries Arab Turkish Bank, North Africa International Bank, and North Africa Commercial Bank have processed commercial transactions on behalf of or for the benefit of Libyan Arab Foreign Bank since US President Barack Obama issued his executive order with regard to sanctions on Libya.

In all, it slapped sanctions on nine companies – including Arab Turkish Bank, North Africa International Bank and North Africa Commercial Bank.