The newspaper likened “لوموندFrench: What is happening in Lebanon’s banks is “theft of the century,” in reference to the freezing of millions of dollars. In the accounts of their owners, without allowing them to dispose of their money.
Depositors resort to court
The French newspaper talked about Lebanese depositors resorting to the judiciary to recover their money from banks, at a time of excess. It has 100% inflation. And lost National currency 90 percent of its value is against the dollar.
The newspaper also indicated that there are hundreds of prosecutions against Lebanese financial institutions inside the country. And dozens of them in France, Britain and the United States.
Among the most prominent complaints are those of the Jordanian businessman Talal Abu Ghazaleh, who has 40 million dollars frozen in the Société Générale.
The Lebanese judiciary had ordered a precautionary seizure of some of the bank’s real estate assets and its CEO.
Some properties of the Governor of the Banque du Liban, Riad Salameh, were also seized with precaution in Mount Lebanon.
This is considered a symbolic decision pending the issuance of a verdict in the lawsuit filed by the “People Want to Reform the System” group. Against the bank governor.
National Crime Agency
According to four Lebanese sources, according to “Reuters”, the National Agency for Combating Crime in Britain is studying a report it has submitted. It has a legal institution in London. Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh and his associates are accused of money laundering and corruption practices.
The report also reveals what it says are assets, companies and investment tools in Britain worth hundreds of millions of pounds.
He alleges that Salama, members of his family and Prime Time Zone connected to him have used her for years to transfer money out of Lebanon.
Salameh, who has been governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon since 1993, told Reuters that he had read a copy of the report. He described it as part of a smear campaign, and said the allegations therein were false.
The Lebanese financial and political elite has become the subject of criticism and accusations of corruption, mismanagement and obstruction of efforts to empower the country. From obtaining international aid. Especially since the Beirut port exploded 8 months ago, as Lebanon has been plunged into an ever deeper crisis.
Reuters also quoted two sources as saying that the Guernica 37 legal firm in London had filed the aforementioned report. To the British police late last year.
The two sources added that the report was prepared on behalf of a group of Lebanese civil society figures abroad. He was then referred to the National Crime Agency.
For his part, a spokesperson for the agency said: “We can confirm that we have received this report, but we are not in a position to permit us. By submitting more comment ”.
Two sources indicated that the agency’s Financial Investigation Unit is conducting what is known as scoping, which is a form of preliminary investigation. To find out if there are sufficient grounds to initiate a formal investigation.
The “Guernica 37” report is one of several investigations currently underway or being prepared in Europe against officials in the financial sector. And the political class in Lebanon.
In January, the Swiss Attorney General’s office said it had requested legal aid from the Lebanese authorities. Concerning an investigation into “extensive money laundering operations” and possible fraud related to the Central Bank of Lebanon.
Toby Cadman, co-founder of Guernica 37, said that his foundation’s report is one of a number of legal cases. Prepared with regard to Lebanon, to be presented to the British authorities.
He added, “Our intention is to search, investigate, and expose all the main pillars of alleged corruption in the country.”
The Lebanese banking system is at the heart of the financial crisis that erupted in the country in late 2019. Banks have blocked most transfers abroad. And restrictions were imposed on the exchange of deposits as the dollar tightened.
The financial meltdown has caused the local currency to crumble, push the country to declare a sovereign debt default, and lead to widespread poverty.
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