Cairo: Fallen Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi may have emptied the country's estimated gold reserves worth USD 10 billion and will use it to buy protection and wage a guerrilla war, the nation's former chief banker has said.

"Libya had gold reserves worth USD 10 billion in Tripoli. Now that Gaddafi is on the run, he may have taken some of this gold", Al Jazeera quoted former Libyan Central Bank chief Farhat Bengdara as having told an Italian daily.

Bengdara alleged that Gaddafi may use this bullion to corrupt tribes for his protection and saw chaos. The Libyan banker had deserted the Gaddafi regime few months ago.

The banker said that during his tenure the dictator had tried to sell gold consignments to hire mercenaries and to keep ready cash in dollars and euros with himself.

Bengdara said that Libya would need anywhere between USD five to seven billion to kick start the economy and said there were no fears as the country's Sovereign Wealth Fund and gold reserves were a comfortable USD 168 billion.

(Agencies)