LONDON: Britain will shortly seize billions of pounds in assets that Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi has stored in the European country, the Telegraph newspaper reported today.
Britain's finance department has set up a unit to trace Gaddafi's British assets which it believes include bank accounts, commercial property and a USD 16.1 million London home, the paper said.
"The first priority is to get British nationals out of Libya," a government source told the British daily.
"But then we are ready to move in on Gaddafi's assets, the work is under way. This is definitely on the radar at the highest levels."
Britain understands that Gaddafi owns around 20 billion pounds in liquid assets, mostly in London. According to the paper, these will be frozen "within days."
The international community has rounded on the long-serving ruler after he responded to anti-regime demonstrations with a violent crackdown that has claimed hundreds of lives.