they wanted to sneak out 26 tons of gold, two officials arrested – La Nouvelle Tribune

A gold smuggling case is rocking the Maghreb region as Libyan authorities foiled an ambitious plan to smuggle nearly 26 tonnes of gold out of the country. This spectacular raid resulted in the arrest of two senior customs officials, revealing the complex workings of smuggling in the region.

The affair broke out when authorities launched an investigation into possible large-scale smuggling at Misrata airport, located 200 kilometers from the capital Tripoli. According to statements from the Attorney General’s Office, several customs officials were arrested for their alleged involvement in this illicit operation. Among them is the general director of customs as well as officials from Misrata airport.

The scale of the smuggling attempt is staggering: nearly 26 tons of gold, in the form of bars, were to be smuggled out of the country. This quantity represents an estimated value of around 1.75 billion francs at current prices. If this attempt had succeeded, it would not only have deprived Libya of crucial resources, but also fueled an already thriving smuggling network in the region.

This case is not an isolated case. Indeed, the Prosecutor’s Office had already opened an investigation last January concerning a similar case of gold smuggling from Misrata international airport. Organizations such as The Sentry have also highlighted Libya’s crucial role as a transit zone for gold smuggling to countries like the United Arab Emirates and Turkey.

According to the NGO’s reports, several major transit points are used to illegally export gold out of Libya, including the ports and airports of Misrata, Zliten and Khoms in the west, as well as the port and Benghazi airport to the east. These smuggling networks are fueled by complicity within customs authorities and port and airport infrastructures, highlighting the need to strengthen control and surveillance measures in these sensitive areas.

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