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Mexico: Saadi Gadafi Prevented from Fleeing Illegally to Mexico

(Dec. 14, 2011) On December 7, 2011, the Mexican federal government announced that it thwarted an operation whereby Saadi Gaddafi, a son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, would have fled to Mexico with his family, posing as Mexican citizens. (Press Conference, Mensaje a medios de comunicación que ofreció el Secretario de Gobernación, Alejandro Poiré Romero, y la Coordinadora General de Comunicación Social de la Presidencia de la República y Vocera del Gobierno Federal, Alejandra Sota Mirafuentes (Dec. 7, 2011), Mexican Department of Governance website.)

In a press conference, the Mexican government indicated that it first learned of the plot in September 2011. Investigations revealed that the scheme was coordinated by a Canadian national who had direct contact with the Gaddafi family. This individual recruited a group of Mexican nationals who obtained false official documents that would have been used by the Gaddafis to pose as Mexican nationals under new identities in Mexico. In addition, the suspects opened bank accounts using false documents and bought houses in Mexico for Saadi Gaddafi and his family. The Mexican government arrested these individuals in November 2011. They will be accused of committing the crimes of illicit use of false documents and trafficking in persons. (Id.)

The Mexican government added that Saadi Gaddafi is accused by the Libyan transitional government of being the leader of military units that tried to quash the rebellion that ultimately deposed the regime headed by Muammar Gaddafi earlier this year. For this reason, Interpol requested international cooperation in September in order to detain Saadi Gaddafi, who is believed to be in Niger. (Id.)