All in the Qaddafi family: The regime's wealth

Saadi Qaddafi
Saadi Gadhafi, the son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, answers aquestion during a press conference in Sydney, Australia, Monday, Feb. 7,2005.
by Laura Strickler and Aurora Ellis

Confidential State Department cables released by WikiLeaks indicate Muammar Qaddafi's eight children routinely benefit from their father's wealth. Cables say that all family members have financial streams from the country's National Oil Company.

One cable written by Chris Stevens, a U.S. diplomat in Libya, says it had "become common practice" for government funds to be used to promote companies controlled by Qaddafi's children. He also indicated that their companies have all benefited from "considerable government financing and political backing."

One cable noted that if politically connected Libyans complain that Qaddafi and his family are taking too much of Libya's wealth "they are removed from access to financial rewards."

His son Saadi al-Qaddafi, owns a significant share of al-Ahli, one of the two biggest soccer teams in the country and owns the film production company, World Navigator Entertainment according to State Department cables.

His son Muhammed al-Qaddafi owned 40% of a Libyan beverage company which was a joint venture with Coca Cola until 2006 according to a Coca Cola representative in Istanbul. Muhammed also controls a major telecommunications company.

The family has a philanthropy run by son Saif Qaddafi which according to state department cables used a 747 jet to transport tons of aid to Haitians after the 2010 earthquake.

A significant portion of Libyan government assets controlled by Qaddafi may be invested outside the country, in banks in Europe and elsewhere. For example the cables indicate millions from Libya's oil wealth has been distributed to politically connected Libyan ex-pats in Scotland.

According to Reuters, the Paris prosecutor's office has opened an initial inquiry into Qaddafi's holdings in Europe after a legal complaint was filed by human rights groups Sherpa and Transparency International.