Fallen Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has reportedly escaped in a state-of-the-art armoured vehicle with anti-tracking systems provided by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
According to the Daily Mail, Sarkozy gave the 'green light' to the Arab dictator receiving the 3.5 million pound converted Mercedes 4x4 in 2008.
Sarkozy had ordered French jets to start bombing Gaddafi's forces back in March, but reports suggest that French technology firm Amesys was allowed to provide Gaddafi with the command vehicle.
Referring to Sarkozy's armoured 4x4, reports said: "In 2007 the sale was approved by the then Interior Minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, and his chief of staff Claude Gueant. The vehicle was eventually delivered in 2008 - this time with the green light from the President.'
Gadhafi spokesman Moussa Ibrahim has told the Syrian Al-Rai TV station, the Gaddafi media mouthpiece, that 17 mercenaries from Britain, France and Qatar had been seized near Bani Walid.
"A group was captured in Bani Walid consisting of 17 mercenaries. They are technical experts and they include consultative officers. Most of them are French, one of them is from an Asian country that has not been identified, two English people and one Qatari," Ibrahim said.
Britain's Foreign Office said it was aware of Ibrahim's claims, but had no evidence that they were correct. The French foreign ministry said it had no information about the report.
Meanwhile, a military source in Paris has said that Gaddafi has almost certainly used the vehicle to get away.
"It is a product of superb French engineering, and an obvious means of escape. Gaddafi would be able to stay out sight of military targeters, and be extremely well protected if he met enemy forces on the ground," the source added.