Moammar Gaddafi
Moammar Gaddafi Reuters

Despite crippling sanctions and an arms embargo approved by the international community, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi continues to show resistance and the possible reason for such confidence could be 144 tons of gold that he still controls.

Financial Times reported that the Libyan central bank, which is under Gaddafi's control, has about 143.8 tons of gold, according to IMF. The gold at current prices is worth $6 to $7 billion, enough to support a band of mercenaries for years.

Earlier during the Tunisian uprising The Independent reported that Tunisian leader Ben Ali's wife Leila Trabelsi absconded with more than half a ton of gold, valued at about $60 million. However, the central bank of Tunisia denied these allegations.

After the U.S.-led coalition pounded the forces of Gaddafi as part of Operation Odyssey Dawn, the Libyan leader still appeared defiant. In fact, in his first public appearance since the airstrikes, Gaddafi has told his supporters: This assault ... is by a bunch of fascists who will end up in the dustbin of history.

While fears escalate that the internal strife could spiral into a long drawn guerrilla war, the report by FT detailing Gaddafi's gold reserves confirms that he has the financial assets to continue a long-drawn war.

Financial Times also reported that during the revolution in Egypt, the country banned all gold exports for four months to curtail any government officials from taking gold past the Egyptian borders.