WASHINGTON (CN) – Breaking the record for assets frozen by a U.S. sanctions order, the U.S. Treasury has frozen $30 billion associated with the Libyan government.
Friday, after declaring that Libyan dictator Muammar Qadhafi’s violent crack-down on pro-democracy protesters poses a threat to the security and foreign policy of the United States, President Obama ordered that all assets under U.S. jurisdiction belonging to Qadhafi, his family, close associates and senior members of his government, security services and armed forces, be frozen until the president determines that the security threat has passed.
David Cohen, acting undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, told reporters in a conference call on Monday that $30 billion in assets had already been frozen. This, Cohen said, represented the largest amount ever frozen by a U.S. sanctions order.
Obama also ordered the Secretary of State to suspend all export licenses for, and to seize all shipments already in transit of, defense related articles and services to Libya.
Obama’s executive order relies on emergency presidential powers granted under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the National Emergencies Act.