Radio France International (RFI) has reported that Saddam, the son of Marshal Khalifa Haftar, was involved in smuggling gold to the Turkish city of Istanbul and that a plane belonging to the Marshal had landed in the city twice during July.
RFI added in a report on Saturday, “The plane (Falcon 900) also landed during the same period in Abu Dhabi and then at the Al-Batin UAE private airport for businessmen, as this private plane attracts the attention of flight tracking enthusiasts who monitor flights in real time."
RFI added that Haftar, “usually uses this plane, but his relatives often use it in trafficking and money laundering operations,” noting that the plane landed in Istanbul “a few weeks after a Venezuela incident, where Haftar's relatives exchanged dollars for gold bars."
The report said that Haftar's sons "Khaled, Saddam and Siddiq, and a handful of officers carry out the tasks." RFI quoted "a number of specialists" as saying that the aim of these operations was "to finance and preserve the political-military entity that Khalifa Haftar established in eastern Libya."
RFI indicates that the hostility between Haftar and Turkish President Recep Erdogan has not prevented such moves, adding: “Many in eastern Libya believe that this Turkish connection with the Haftar family is part of a commercial activity to raise money.”
The report also noted that "Saddam Haftar illegally sold scrap metals and oil to Turkey."
“According to a report issued by the United Nations Group of Experts, this movement earned him 1.5 billion Turkish liras,” claiming that a meeting took place between Haftar's son and the head of Turkish intelligence before the war in the capital, Tripoli, in April 2019.
The report says: “These links from those close to Haftar are not limited to Turkey, as Libyan gold was sold through Saddam Haftar to the UAE in exchange for weapons, mercenaries and dollars. The transactions pass through Khaled and Saddam Haftar’s accounts at Emirati banks."