Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

September 16, 2011

Lifestyles of the rich and infamous

Filed under: capitalist pig,Libya — louisproyect @ 1:55 pm

Pythons, parties and offshore accounts: Life among Libya’s elite

Hannibal Gaddafi’s abandoned laptop contains snapshots of the dictator’s playboy son and his entourage

By Kim Sengupta

The Independent, Friday, 16 September 2011

Libya’s rebels were yet to make the military breakthrough which would see his father swept from power but Hannibal al-Gaddafi was taking the precaution of reviewing his finances. There was a bank transfer for $14,999,920.82 (about £9.5m), another of $6,439,201.76, and a third, more modest one of $3,233,434.10. He was, one could assume, reassured about having enough put away for rainy days ahead.

The documents, with details of accounts in Paris, Panama and Tunis, were found by The Independent on a laptop belonging to the fourth son of Muammar Gaddafi, abandoned as he fled with his family from his mansion in Tripoli. The papers show the sheer extent of wealth Hannibal Gaddafi had accrued while working as a “consultant” to Libya’s national shipping corporation. Many of the transactions involve Amen Bank and the North African International Bank, both based in the Tunisian capital, and the company Indotex SA based in Panama. Others go through a myriad of institutions before ending up at accounts at tax havens.

Hannibal Gaddafi, his wife Aline Skaf, a former model from Lebanon, and their two children have sought refuge in neighbouring Algeria along with other members of the Gaddafi family. The new Libyan government has demanded that Algiers send them back to face charges, including theft of state assets.

Hannibal’s opulent home was among those raided by local people and revolutionaries after the fall of Tripoli. Young fighters wandered around the villa or lounged on the Italian sofas. Empty bottles of Dom Perignon and Johnny Walker Black Label whiskey lay scattered on cracked glass tabletops.

The photographs detail Hannibal Gaddafi’s lavish lifestyle, sailing on one of his yachts and getting ready for flights on a private Gulfstream jet, and the phalanx of staff to look after the family, including one of Shweyga Mullah, an Ethiopian nanny who has later discovered severely burned, the result, she said, of having boiling water poured over her by Aline Skaf for failing to keep the children quiet.

This was just one of several occasions that Hannibal Gaddafi and his wife had been accused of assaulting those who worked for them. In 2008 they were arrested in Geneva on charges of “bodily harm, threatening behaviour and coercion” against two members of staff. Gaddafi’s regime retaliated by imprisoning two Swiss businessmen and cancelling contracts with Swiss firms.

The following year police in London were called to Claridge’s Hotel in the early hours of Christmas morning after the management were alarmed at the sound of a woman screaming. Aline Skaf was discovered bleeding heavily and taken by ambulance to hospital where she was treated for facial injuries. Soon afterwards Hannibal Gaddafi threw a party for his wife in New York where the cabaret was provided by Beyoncé.

Some of the pictures on the laptop were taken at another party, in Cairo, with belly dancers and a well known Egyptian singer providing the entertainment. Aline Skaf sits arms entwined with her husband, with a bruise on her face.


  1. How nice to see the clowns live the high life sipping christal on baccaratt (not sure of the correct spelling because as a peasant I can’t afford it) while their political prisoners rotted in jail and were tortured.

    Our society is not much better with state sanctioned mvrder called the death penalty which many politicians believe is justice.

    Go figure. (Sigh)

    Comment by Deborah Jeffries — September 16, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

  2. I’m tempted to be impressed by journalist’s abilities to get a hold of a lot of government evidence in Tripoli in war-torn Syria. Although, it’s hardly controversial to publish since the ousted Qadaffi has no more allies in the global North and South nor East and West. I believe Wikileaks has taken a lot of pressure off of press bureaus who now embrace these activities but would otherwise shy away from.

    I want more details on the cooperation between Britain and US with Libya on torture. That may take citizens in the US and Britain storming and ransacking their own intelligence buildings. The people of Libya have stepped forward after 40 years of repression, but also decades forward ahead the rest of us.

    Comment by Aaron — September 16, 2011 @ 5:40 pm

  3. Well said Aaron. I’m sure more will be revealed in the near future.

    Comment by Deborah Jeffries — September 16, 2011 @ 7:47 pm

  4. Speaking of the rich, my local news reported or should I say boasted that Greenwich, CT has eight billionaires among its residents.

    And this is interesting for what reason?

    High unemployment, cuts to social services, market nose dives and an innocent man is executed in Georgia.

    Can’t my chicken noodle network local news think of more meaningful stories to cover than how many billionaires live in Greenwich, CT?

    These people need to get out in the real world and see how life really is.

    Comment by Deborah Jeffries — September 23, 2011 @ 4:07 am

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