Gunmen stole a total of $55 million in an assault on a van carrying local and foreign currency for the Libyan Central Bank on October 28, 2013, Monday. The information about this crime became available with the state news agency Lana.
A view of the Central Bank of Libya in central Tripoli
According to the report, ten armed men stopped the van loaded with 53 million Libyan dinars and foreign currency worth $12 million in the coastal city of Sirte. The van was heading from the airport where the cash had been flown in from Tripoli for the local Central Bank branch.
“The robbery is a catastrophe not just for Sirte but the whole of Libya,” Abdel-Fattah Mohammed, head of Sirte council, told Reuters. He also noted the local authorities had asked several times for better security for such transports.
The Libyan government has been struggling since the 2011 ouster of Muammar Gaddafi to assert control of the country brimming with armed militias, gangs and radical Islamists.
Libya’s oil exports fell to less than 10 percent of capacity on Monday after protesters shut down ports and oilfields in the west. Similar strikes over pay or political demands have already paralyzed most of the eastern oil ports of the OPEC-member country.