R intelligence agencies of the largest countries are still looking for the gold of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, estimated at more than 100 billion dollars. Among the big players, however, there is also a Bulgarian, an expert on the subject. This is the journalist and writer Ogi Boychev, who worked for 25 years at the BBC. He recently published an intriguing novel on the subject titled Bullion: The Mystery of Gaddafi’s Gold. In the political thriller, the Bulgarian skillfully weaved fiction and reality, whetting the appetite of all treasure hunters around the world.
The 68-year-old Boychev now lives in the city of Cheltenham, Great Britain. He spent a quarter of a century covering international conflicts. He often has to travel on dangerous assignments, in which he is sometimes undercover. While covering as a war correspondent the color revolution in Libya, he goes into the tracks of the treasure of the Libyan dictator, called because of his temper and cruelty the Mad Dog.
The resident remembers that work took him there even before the Arab Spring. He shared that what struck him was that this African country lacked the telltale signs of luxury and opulence easily seen in the oil-rich Gulf states. “If you go to Kuwait, Dubai or any other oil-rich country, you can see gleaming massive skyscrapers, shopping malls, infrastructure, but not in Libya, where Gaddafi was in power for 42 years and earned petrodollars, sometimes at extortionately high prices… It looked like a very poor third world country. Gaddafi promised a house for every Libyan family and started building them in the 1980s and 1990s, but when you drive from Tunis to Tripoli, you pass these ghost estates with half-finished houses where nobody lives,” he explains Boychev to online media in Gloucestershire (gloucestershirelive.co.uk).
So the nascent begins to wonder where all the dollars of the Jamahiriya went then. Although while in power, the Libyan leader loudly advertised some rather ambitious infrastructure projects, the bill still did not come out.
“Yes Gaddafi had some projects like the big artificial river project and tunnels under the Sahara desert to pump ice age water to the coastal areas.”
The Libyan army was also at the level of a “joke”. At the same time, Gaddafi supported the IRA and anti-Western groups, but this could not have cost him all his wealth, which mysteriously disappeared after the war in Libya. Ogi Boychev also tells that Gaddafi was obsessed with bullion, which is why he converted most of the state assets into gold. According to some sources, it weighed about 140 tons.
City of London
In 2012, Boychev left the BBC. However, he is obsessed with the subject and starts working on his own. This is how valuable information is obtained from gold dealers in the City of London. It turns out that during the time of the regime in Libya, a large amount of transactions were carried out with these bars, but where they were physically was never made clear. According to Boychev, if anyone knows where Gaddafi’s treasure is, it is one of his sons – Seif al-Islam. He was arrested after the fall of his father’s regime. But then something murky happens – he is put on trial by a tribe hostile to Gaddafi in western Libya, sentenced to death, then miraculously released and disappears. “All the evidence points to the fact that he controls his father’s wealth,” the writer Ogi Boychev suspects.