US slaps further sanctions on Libyan firms

June 22nd, 2011 - 5:06 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, June 22 (IANS) The US has imposed sanctions on more Libyan entities in a bid to add more pressure on Muammar Gaddafi, but lifted sanctions against a government official who broke with the Libyan leader.

The Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) identified three Libya-owned banks and six companies in foreign lands as subject to sanctions, Xinhua reported.

It lifted sanctions against former oil minister Shukri Mohammed Ghanem, who defected last month. Ghanem was also the chairman of the National Oil Corporation of Libya.

The department accused the three banks - Arab Turkish Bank, a joint-venture between Arab and Turkish shareholders, the Tunisia-based North Africa International Bank, and the North Africa Commercial Bank in Lebanon - of involvement in commercial transactions with their parent bank, the Libyan Arab Foreign Bank, already put under sanctions.

It also identified six companies owned by the Libyan government as being subject to sanctions. They are General Company for Chemical Industries, General National Maritime Transport Company, Ghana Libya Arab Holding Company and its subsidiary Glahco Hotels And Tourism Development Company Limited (Golden Tulip Accra), Libyan Norwegian Fertilizer Company and Pak-Libya Holding Company.

“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,” said OFAC director Adam Szubin.

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

The US started to slap sanctions on Libyan government officials and entities in February, and froze some $34 billion of Libyan government assets.

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