Britain freezes Gaddafi''s assets

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H S RaoLondon, Feb 28 (PTI) Britain has frozen assets, worthabout 20 billion pounds, that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafiand his family held in the country.

"I have taken action today to freeze the assets ofGaddafi and his family so that they cannot be used against theinterests of the Libyan people," Britain''s Chancellor ofExchequer George Osborne said.

"This follows the UN Security Council Resolutiontabled by the UK and France," Osborne said in a statement.

"I decided to implement this UN resolution in the UKas quickly as possible, before the financial markets reopened.

This is a strong message for the Libyan regime that violenceagainst its own people is not acceptable," he said.

The statement also warned financial institutions thatthe treasury would monitor compliance "rigorously".

According to reports, Gaddafi''s British assets includebank accounts, commercial property and a 10 million-poundLondon home.

The action follows that taken by the US, which signedyesterday an order freezing the Libyan leader''s assets.

The UN Security Council had unanimously ordered atravel and assets ban on Muammar Gaddafi''s regime and a crimesagainst humanity investigation into the bloodshed blamed onthe Libyan strongman.

It also called for an immediate arms embargo againstLibya, where the United Nations says more than 1,000 peoplehave been killed in attacks blamed on Gaddafi loyalists. PTIHSR

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