Malta seized Russia-printed banknotes en route to Haftar’s forces in eastern Libya
Malta has seized a massive shipment of an unofficial Libyan currency believed to have been destined for Khalifa Haftar who is leading an offensive south of Tripoli.
Sources involved in the country’s national security sector confirmed to Times of Malta that two 2,000-cubic-foot containers packed full of the recently-introduced currency were discovered at the end of September when the shipment stopped in Malta.
The cash is thought to have originated from a Russian-owned mint, which has been printing money for the unrecognised Libyan government, based in the eastern city of Al-Bayda.
Since 2016, the eastern government has printed billions of Libyan dinars in Russia, a large part of which has been used to bankroll the forces of Khalifa Haftar’s so-called LNA and its war efforts.
Security sources familiar with the situation say the cash has been spreading like wildfire and has now become impossible to control.
The seizure of the undisclosed sum of cash by the Maltese authorities, acting on the back of what sources described as “high-level intelligence”, has been interpreted by political observers as a move that “will go down well with America but not with Russia”.