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Lebanon summons central bank chief over corruption allegations

A prosecutor in Lebanon has summoned central bank chief Riad Salameh for questioning next month over corruption allegations, a judicial source said on Monday. Mr Salameh, one of world’s longest-serving central bank governors, is facing a series of allegations, including from Switzerland, France and Britain, over suspicions of money laundering,… Read More

Syria’s Assad says funds frozen in Lebanese banks biggest impediment to investment

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Saturday the main impediment to investment in the country was money stuck in ailing Lebanese banks. In a speech after being sworn in as president for a fourth term, Assad said estimates suggested the frozen funds were worth between $40 billion and $60 billion. Read More

Days Before EU Sanctions, Belarusian Oligarch’s Family Sells its Firm and Bank

By Saurnas Cerniauskas, OCCRP, 6 July 2021 OCCRP — Days before the European Union imposed sanctions on Belarusian oligarch Aliaksei Aleksin over his links to Alexander Lukashenko’s regime, his family sold its Cyprus-based company along with a bank to a Lebanese businessman, this way saving both… Read More
4th July 2021
Lebanon continues to unravel as its economic and political crisis worsens. The country has not had a government for almost a year now and its economy is in the process of collapsing after decades of mismanagement and corruption. Over the past month, there have been stories both absurd… Read More
24th June 2021
A year after the head Byblos Bank’s ethics and anti-fraud department was found stabbed to death near his home in Hazmiyeh, an investigation by Lebanese police has concluded only that nothing had been stolen during the attack and no motive was readily apparent, the Financial Times… Read More
21st June 2021
The European Union’s foreign policy chief told Lebanon’s leaders on Saturday they were to blame for the country’s political and economic crisis and some could face sanctions if they continue to obstruct steps to form a new government and implement reform. Speaking after what he called a “frank exchange” with… Read More
11th June 2021
In a speech seen as an act of defiance against the Lebanese state and the US, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Wednesday insisted that Lebanon should be “negotiating with Iran to buy gasoline and diesel with the Lebanese currency if Lebanon’s shortages persist.” Seemingly unconcerned about the possibility that this… Read More
7th June 2021
France has opened a probe into the personal wealth of Riad Salameh, central bank chief in crisis-hit Lebanon, sources told AFP on Sunday. Paris financial prosecutors have opened a preliminary probe into criminal association and money laundering by Salameh, a source close to the investigation and a judicial source said,… Read More
13th May 2021
The European Union is drawing up sanctions on politicians in Lebanon seen as blocking the formation of a government, readying the bloc’s first penalties on its Middle Eastern ally in frustration at the ruling elite’s mismanagement, diplomats said. Led by former colonial power France, the bloc is seeking to ramp… Read More
12th May 2021
The United States has sanctioned seven Lebanese nationals it says are linked to the Iran-backed Hezbollah group, and its financial arm, Al-Qard al-Hassan (AQAH). In a Treasury Department press release Tuesday, the seven were listed as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT). “From the highest levels of Hezbollah’s financial apparatus… Read More
4th May 2021
An anti-corruption group has submitted a legal complaint in France against Lebanon’s central bank governor over foreign investments including property he owns worth millions of euros, two people involved in the filing said on Monday. Sherpa, a non-governmental organisation that defends victims of economic crimes, said in a statement that… Read More
3rd May 2021
Lebanon’s public prosecutor has launched an investigation into central bank governor Riad Salameh, a judicial source said, after a Swiss legal request alleged that more than $300 million had been embezzled from the bank through a company owned by his brother. The senior judicial source told Reuters the offices of… Read More
28th April 2021
A row has broken out between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia over a haul of millions of amphetamine pills smuggled in a shipment of pomegranates. Lebanon appealed to Saudi Arabia this week to lift a ban on imports of fruit and vegetables, which have become an important source of hard currency… Read More