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Meet your new neighbors: the Gadaffis!

December 10, 2011

Coastal dwellers in Nayarit nearly found themselves with an unlikely new neighbor back in September: the son of late Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi.

In a plot foiled by the Mexican government, the dictator’s playboy son Saadi Gaddafi, 38, planned to smuggle his family into the country, with the intention of settling in the beach resort of Punta Mita, just north of Puerto Vallarta.

An exclusive, upmarket peninsula, home to a Four Seasons resort and private villas, Punta Mita is best known for attracting celebrity visitors such as Charlie Sheen, Jennifer Aniston and Lady Gaga. It is also reportedly home to a multi-million-dollar estate that was awaiting members of the Gaddafi clan.

The story was first broken by Canada’s National Post on October 29 and Mexican authorities confirmed on Wednesday that they had foiled the plan in September.

The United Nations had frozen Gaddafi’s assets and banned him from international travel because of his close ties to the Libyan dictatorship, but according to the Post, Canadian company “Can/Aust Security and Investigations International” approached private security contractors in Ontario, offering 1,000 dollars per day to transport Gaddafi and his wife and children from Libya to the Punta Mita property.

The plot was allegedly led by Canadian Cynthia Vanier, and involved two Mexicans and a Dane, all of whom were arrested in Mexico City on November 10 and 11.

The U.S. government congratulated its Mexican counterpart on Wednesday for preventing Gaddafi and his family from settling south of the border. State Department spokesman Mark Toner described it as “good work” and said it “was a case of national security for Mexico.”

Libya’s deposed dictator Colonel Gaddafi was killed by rebel forces on October 20. Among his eight children, Saif al-Islam was caught last month and faces trial before the International Criminal Court, while three others are dead and three fled to neighboring Algeria.

Saadi Gaddafi and his family remain at large. A former member of Libya’s special forces and an active businessman, Saadi was famed for his playboy lifestyle and even played professional soccer for Perugia in Italy’s Serie A League.

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