By Jack Farchy and Roula Khalaf in London
Published: March 21 2011 18:21 | Last updated: March 21 2011 18:21
The international community has hit Muammer Gaddafi with a raft of sanctions and asset freezes aimed at cutting off his funding. But the embattled Libyan leader is sitting on a pot of gold.
The Libyan central bank – which is under Colonel Gaddafi’s control – holds 143.8 tonnes of gold, according to the latest data from the International Monetary Fund, although some suspect the true amount could be several tonnes higher.
Those reserves, among the top 25 in the world, are worth more than $6.5bn at current prices, enough to pay a small army of mercenaries for months or even years.