Gunmen Steal $54 Million From Van Carrying Libya's Central Bank Funds

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 28 2013 9:30 PM

Gunmen Steal $54 Million From Van Carrying Libya's Central Bank Funds

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National Transitional Council (NTC) fighters ride on the back of a vehicle mounted with a gun at the frontline in Bani Walid in October 2011.

Photo by KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images

On Monday, gunman attacked a van in northern Libya, making off with some $54 million in several currencies belonging to the Libyan central bank, according to Lana, Libya’s state news agency. The heist was an audacious one, as reportedly 10 “heavily armed men” attacked the van roadside nearby the northern city of Sirte. The vehicle was on its way from the airport after picking up tens of millions of dollars that arrived by air from Libya’s capital of Tripoli. According to the Libyan news agency, the transport van was protected by only one security vehicle. "The robbing is a catastrophe not just for Sirte but the whole of Libya," Abdel-Fattah Mohammed, head of Sirte council, told Reuters. He said several requests had been made for better security for such transports.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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