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Reports: UK used 17 million pounds from Libyan frozen assets

The UK government has collected £17m on over £10bn of assets linked to Col Gaddafi which are frozen in the UK، British press has reported. 

The information has been revealed in a report by the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee which has pressed the government for months to come clean on the matter.

Victims of Gaddafi-IRA terrorism previously reacted angrily to suggestions that the UK may have been profiting from the assets privately while publicly blocking their attempts to tap the assets for compensation.

Libya previously paid compensation to US, French and German victims of terror attacks Gaddafi had sponsored.

The UK Government has now revealed to MPs on the committee that since the start of the 2016-17 financial year, HMRC has collected around £17 million from frozen Libyan assets. Approximately £5 million each year is collected.

The Gaddafi regime’s supply of several shipments of Semtex – a highly powerful, malleable and virtually undetectable plastic explosive – to the Provisional IRA in the mid-1980s led to a deadly campaign of bombings across the UK.

Commenting on the revealed tax figure, Committee Chair Simon Hoare MP said: “The Government claims it has been taking a more ‘visibly proactive’ approach to securing compensation for victims, but it took my Committee to point out that the profits the Government has been accruing from frozen Libyan assets could be put to better use.

“I am glad the figure has now been revealed to us, and there is now a clear moral imperative for this money to be used to help victims who have suffered for far too long.” He said.

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