Can Saadi Gadhafi sell his condo in Toronto, despite UN sanctions?
Can someone under UN Security Council sanctions sell their Toronto condo? Are there sufficient controls in place in Canada to prevent this from happening? Today, we take a look at a real case, and then consider where the vulnerabilities in the Canadian system lie. In short: it’s possible that this could happen in Canada, which might be why the Globe and Mail got the tip….
In 2008, Saadi Gadhafi bought a condo in downtown Toronto. During the 2011 uprising in Libya, he fled to Niger, but was extradited, and was in prison in Tripoli until 2021. He currently lives in Turkey. On 10 June 2023, the Globe and Mail reported that Gadhafi is attempting to sell his condo, in contravention of UN Security Council sanctions. He is attempting to do so by drawing up a power of attorney and appointing a representative on all matters relating to the luxury condo.
The UN asset freeze (Resolution 1970) applies to all of his assets, including the condo, and is an attempt to ensure that Gadhafi cannot use any “ill gotten” wealth (i.e. funds stolen from the Libyan people). The resolution obligates all UN Member States to:
“freeze without delay all funds, other financial assets and economic resources which are on their territories, which are owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the individuals or entities”
These sanctions are implemented in Canada through the UN Act, Libya regulations. In addition to the asset freeze, the Act prohibits any person in Canada or any Canadian outside Canada to knowingly deal in any of Gadhafi’s property, enter into or facilitate any transactions relating to this property, provide any financial or related service for this property, etc.
So not only should the condo be “frozen” as an economic resource, but any potential sale would be prohibited (this would involve a transaction relating to the property, as well as financial services).
In practice, how could this sale transpire, and where would the problems arise for Gadhafi? Would the Canadian system be resilient against this type of effort?