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Irish Canadian held in Libya as US oil spy suspect

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An Irish Canadian man is being held in Libya for security reasons. Douglas Oriali is suspected of industrial espionage on behalf of the United States.

Local newspaper, Oea, reported that Oriali, a Canadian with Australian and Irish citizenship, is suspected of working with the United States intelligence. The newspaper said that the officials suspected he is there "to gather information aiming to ensure the failure of a drilling project off the Libyan coast by Britain's BP."

They also said that when Oriali arrived in the country to told "senior officials" that he was an archaeologist visiting Libya as a tourist. The official told the local press that Oriali was put under surveillance and was then prevented from leaving the country.

According to the newspaper sources from the embassy have said that Oriali is being held in the Tripoli hotel. He has been questioned twice by Libyan security and his laptop and cell phone have been confiscated.

Oriali has provided details of his internet banking and emails.

BP has announced that it will begin drilling off the coast of Libya during 2010. This is under a 2007 deal with Tripoli which allows them to drill five wells in the Gulf of Sirte at depths of 5,500 feet. This is slightly deeper than then of the drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Libyan government, on September 7, said that Libya has no stake in BP or any international firms.

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