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LIBYA: U.S. officials say $30 billion in Kadafi government assets frozen

February 28, 2011 |  5:31 pm

The U.S. froze $30 billion in Libyan government assets as part of the Obama administration's response to leader Moammar Kadafi's bloody crackdown on protesters, officials said Monday.

The amount represents the largest total in a single order by the U.S. government, officials said.

The order freezing Libyan cash and investments in the U.S., which include assets belonging to Kadafi and his relatives, does not rule out additional assets being frozen later, officials said.

"There may be some additional money that will be blocked as a result," David Cohen, acting Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, told reporters, "but I can't say what that would be."

President Obama signed an order Friday freezing Libyan assets and also wrote a letter to Congress declaring a national emergency to deal with the political unrest in the North African country.

Obama's executive order, which describes the Kadafi regime as having taken "extreme measures" against Libyans, states: "I further find that there is a serious risk that Libyan state assets will be misappropriated by [Kadafi], members of his government, members of his family, or his close associates if those assets are not protected."

-- Efrain Hernandez Jr.