The man that arguably began many revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa last year has been revealed as also having been stinking rich. Col Muammar Gaddafi, who led Libya for over four decades, allegedly used his power to line his pockets as the domineering controller of the country’s plentiful oil fields.
Using Libya’s coffers as his bank account, Gaddafi, who never promoted himself and simply retained the army rank of colonel that he had when he led a successful army coup, reportedly spent freely, and amassed a personal fortune that included real estate and corporate investments all over the world. At the time of his capture and death in 2011, Gaddafi was the richest man on earth with an estimated $200 billion fortune.
Col Gaddafi was able to build his massive personal wealth thanks to a violent and domineering control over Libya’s natural resources. Specifically their rich supply of oil. Libya has the largest supply of oil in Africa and the tenth largest in the world. Gaddafi used Libya’s oil to print money for 40 years! During that time he spread his money around the globe through family members, Swiss bank accounts, real estate and investments. Estimated at $200 billion, he had enough to give $30,000 to each of Libya’s 6.6 million citizens.
At the beginning of the Libyan conflict, authorities discovered and seized roughly $67 billion of Gaddafi’s wealth hidden in bank accounts around the globe. England, France, Italy and Germany seized another $30 billion and the Obama administration found a staggering $37 billion in the United States. Investigators suspect that Gaddafi hid an additional $30 billion around the world.
As more investigations take place, it looks like Gaddafi had money stashed or invested in almost every major country in the world including the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. In addition to bank accounts, Muammar owned a stake in the Italian soccer club Juventus and the car company Fiat. He also was a minority shareholder of London’s Financial Times. Gaddafi had luxury homes around the world including a huge estate located in the United States, in Englewood, New Jersey. His house includes a huge swimming pool, tennis court and even a shooting range.