U.S. government blocks $30 billion in Libyan assets, largest U.S. blocking ever

March 1st, 2011 - 2:51 am ICT by BNO News  

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) — The U.S. Department of the Treasury on Monday said it has blocked at least 30 billion dollars in assets owned by the Libyan government, the largest blocking ever in the United States.

U.S. President Barack Obama declared a national emergency in an executive order on Friday, allowing the U.S. Treasury to freeze assets owned by the Libyan government. “Beginning immediately upon the issuance of the executive order on Friday evening, U.S. financial institutions were in close contact [..] to implement immediately the sanctions,” said Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen.

Cohen said the U.S. Treasury has been in contact with U.S. financial institutions over the course of the weekend to ensure that all of the assets that were frozen by the order were in fact immobilized. “I can report that as of today, we have at least 30 billion dollars in government of Libya assets under United States jurisdiction have been blocked as a result of the executive order by President Obama,” Cohen said. “This is the largest blocking under any sanctions program ever.”

Libya has been plunged into chaos as massive anti-government protests continue nationwide, resulting in a violent crackdown by security forces which included aerial bombardments on protesters. At least 300 people and as many as more than 1,000 people have been killed in the uprising, but confirmed information has been difficult to obtain due to reporting restrictions by Libyan authorities.

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