Libya's Central Bank Has $184 Million In Gold In Its Vault... It Just Doesn't Know The Combination

Tyler Durden's picture

Imagine a world in which the chief of a central bank didn't have access to cash.

Libyans waited to withdraw money from an ATM. A currency shortage has roiled the country, which is struggling with an Islamic State insurgency

Now stop imagining and take a look at the situation in Libya, where the central bank chief sits in Eastern Libya, while the headquarters is further West in Tripoli, and despite Tripoli sending $23.5 million each month to Eastern Libya, it's only a fraction of what central bank governor Ali El Hibri says is needed to pay the bills ($257 million to be exact).

The situation becomes even more strange when the fact that Eastern Libya actually does have a significant amount of gold and silver that it could use to sell and convert to cash, but it's in a vault that requires a five-number access code that nobody seems to have. Nobody that is, except for El Hibri's counterparts in Tripoli that is, and they won't give the code out.

Such is life now in Libya since Muammar Gaddafi was captured and killed in 2011. Eastern and Western Libya is divided into two rival governments, and even the central bankers aren't working together to solve issues.

It's alleged that the vault has roughly $184 million worth of gold and silver within its walls, and El Hibri isn't going to wait for his colleagues in Tripoli to have a change of heart before he can get to it. While El Hibri waits for a shipment of fresh currency from a foreign printing house to come in, totaling close to $3 billion, the central bank chief has tasked a pair of safe crackers, consisting of one engineer and one  locksmith, to break into the vault and retrieve the coins.

Although the coins apparently have Gaddafi's face on them, El Hibri has already worked a solution to that little issue by already agreeing to liquidate the treasure through gold and silver merchants provided they melt Gaddafi's likeness off. 

The gold and silver coins were minted in 1979 to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of Gaddafi's rise to power. One side depicts the Italian-built colonial-era fortress in the southern city of Sabha where Gaddafi gave his first speech announcing his rule over the country. The flip side depicts a bust of the dictator wearing his colonel’s cap and military uniform. “The Great Arab Libyan Populist Socialist Republic,” is etched onto the gold and silver coins. They weigh 16 and 28 grams, respectively.

Central bank officials in Tripoli won't comment on the matter according to the Wall Street Journal, but they have previously expressed outrage at sending money to the Eastern government, which in turn uses some of the funds to pay local militias that are acknowledged to be hostile to the Tripoli administration.

Not only are El Hibris central bank counterparts concerned about how money is used by the East, the locals have a healthy bit of skepticism as well.


"We don't trust the authorities with the gold. We're worried they'll steal it." said Waleed al-Hassi, a medical technician who said he hasn't been able to collect his public salary since November due to the cash shortage. Waleed is now having to moonlight as a taxi driver on the side to make money.


The plan as it stands, is for the safe cracking duo to get beyond the first wall protecting the vault, then drill a 16-by-16-inch opening into the concrete wall so that the team can wedge themselves in and access the double doors. As far as the code, the locksmith portion of the duo plans to use "special techniques" in order to break into the 48-year old British-made vault.

All we can say is that nothing surprises us anymore in this upside down bizarro world we live in. Actually no, we take that back, we are surprised that the Fed hasn't secretly extended a lifeline to the Libyan central bank, yet. After all, it is no stranger to quietly bailing out other banks.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
bugs_'s picture

like it is still there

willwork4food's picture

I hope it is for the people's sake. More likely it was buried deep in the desert next to a camel watering hole.

0b1knob's picture

At least "lost the combination" makes a humorous change from "boating accident".

J S Bach's picture

Gaddafi was killed for one reason and one reason alone...

He DARED propose a gold-back dinar to act as honest money for the African continent.

The jewish usurers wouldn't stand for such a threat to their monopoly on counterfeit currency.

That's all you need know about the tragedy of Libya.


Mr. Universe's picture

And who was the bulldog charged to make sure that didn't happen? On the other hand, I wonder how collectable those coins will be?

Ofelas's picture

Libya had 140 tonnes of Gold  - that should now be in France

"The Foreign Policy Journal reports:

The email identifies French President Nicholas Sarkozy as leading the attack on Libya with five specific purposes in mind: to obtain Libyan oil, ensure French influence in the region, increase Sarkozy’s reputation domestically, assert French military power, and to prevent Gaddafi’s influence in what is considered “Francophone Africa.”

Most astounding is the lengthy section delineating the huge threat that Gaddafi’s gold and silver reserves, estimated at “143 tons of gold, and a similar amount in silver,” posed to the French franc (CFA) circulating as a prime African currency.


The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) willwork4food May 15, 2016 8:13 PM

Well, everyone knows that you don't liquidate your gold just to pay debts.  Keep that gold in the vault where it belongs until you really need it.

MANvsMACHINE's picture

When you tell them that your gold is at the bottom of the lake, make sure to tell them that you can't remember which lake.

NurseRatched's picture

I want a Gaddafi coin, and I will pay $1,500 for a 1.oz coin.

When you crack the safe, don't sell the gold wholesale.  Put them on ebay.

warsev's picture

I sense a tremendous opportunity for counterfeiters here.

wildbad's picture

there is NO safe that cannot be cracked. no big deal

3 guys with a blueprint and some experience.  a few hours at most.

omniversling's picture

"Imagine a world in which the chief of a central bank didn't have access to cash."

...and nor did the depositors

JackT's picture

They should invite Geraldo Rivera to film the big reveal!

The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) JackT May 15, 2016 8:12 PM

They don't want to do that.  It might turn up empty like Al Capone's vaults.

True Blue's picture


Want to bet its already been picked clean and split between the Clinton foundation, Ergodan, Goldman Sachs, the House of Saud, and certain other unmentionable parties?

If it isn't it almost surely will be; "agreeing to liquidate the treasure through gold and silver merchants" like the Clinton Foundation, Ergodan, Goldman.... at what rate of exchange?

The farce is strong with this one...

wildbad's picture

good point true blue.  it has already come out that france's sarkozy was really after the gold and that clinton et al. were only happy to help hm.  oops anonther email related faux pas.  sid blumenthal had spies all over that place.

JackT's picture

Also..pretty funny to think 1/2 of Libya has more gold than ALL of Canada!! Ha! Man, how ridiculous is that?

nink's picture

Canadians are smarter than you think.  By saying they have no gold they have no one with claims on gold.  They own none.  Now the US on the other hand has 500+ people with a claim on every ounce of physical gold.    By the way there is a lot of gold in the ground in Canada and that is probably the safest place for it.

TurnwiseWiddershins's picture

When you begin to understand that "economists" are shills out to do the bidding of their puppet masters it's not that ridiculous at all.


nmewn's picture

I'll just assume it's not:


(1-12-12-1-8) ;-)

Jendrzejczyk's picture

The tricky part is you have to read it right to left ;}>

Jendrzejczyk's picture


Patent on Guy Fawkes emoji

BeanusCountus's picture

Too complicated for Allah followers. Bet it's Libya1234.

blue51's picture

Hitlery will be pissed. She thought they got all of Libya's gold to London.

Big Corked Boots's picture

I call bullshit. Any plumber in NYC worth his union card can coredrill an opening in that sucker. Carbide, bitchez.

TurnwiseWiddershins's picture

Lol, was thinking the same thing.

We electricians very rarely have need for a core driller, but when we do....uh, well.....we ask the plumbers if we can borrow theirs.

Duc888's picture



Call the Fed, they'll just have it airlifted out and store it in NY for "safe keeping" (wink wink)


Just like Ukraine.



TurnwiseWiddershins's picture

We're gonna need a big ass core driller.

saulysw's picture

Comment withdrawn

Dre4dwolf's picture


Dont need no stinkin code.


Get a few thermal lances and have at it.

Rhal's picture

They should hope it takes a while. The price will climb as they wait.

Not My Real Name's picture

FFS. Gaddafi's portrait on that gold coin looks like it was engraved by an 8-year old. 

omniversling's picture

They did things 'differently' down there...did you ever hear one of the military bands that opens up for dignitary arrivals? Mr Jaded's uniforms? Braided khaftans? All female body guard?

Maxter's picture

Anyone with 2 brain cell can brute force their way into that vault when the cop allow you to do it.

SweetDoug's picture

An-nnn-nnnnd… It's gone.


SmittyinLA's picture

They should have hired Geraldo

onmail1's picture

So soon euroPeon & US pirates 

must be landing there

to "protect" the gold

(from their own creation : The ISIL)


Hillarys Server's picture

If all else fails, airlift the safe and place it on the side of the road in Oakland, California. It will be open by tomorrow morning.

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

Oakland? Are you shitting me? Set it down in Compton, foo', and it'll be empty by midnight. Sheee-it.

Bunga Bunga's picture

Five number code, LOL. My "gold" is secured by 160 bits.

Hillarys Server's picture

My gold is secured by 6 rounds of ammo which transforms intruders into 160 tiny bits.

any_mouse's picture

That's some good ammo there.

any_mouse's picture

That is what happens when a bunch of CIA sponsored rebels, who after toppling Ghaddafi, as their first act create a central bank.


Overflow-admin's picture

"a vault that requires a five-number access code that nobody seems to have" <- BWAHAHAHAHA!!!

Take turns to crack the damn code! At 10s for each attempt it might take under 280 hours to bruteforce.

EllaDara's picture

100 Amazing Facts About Gold

The world’s largest gold bar weighs 250 kg (551 lb).
Gold is edible. Although gold is a heavy, dense metal, it is generally considered non-toxic. Gold metal flakes may be eaten in foods or drinks.
Gold has been discovered on every continent on earth.