How Lebanese Governor Has Been Caught Red-Handed In France
As if Lebanon didn’t have its own share of problems, it is now dealing with financial corruption. The country that is out of money is now reporting its own Central Bank governor that was caught in a corruption charge in France.
According to an anti-corruption group, Mr. Riad Salemeh had foreign investments including property he owns worth millions of euros, despite the fact that his country is in doom. Complaint was filed by France’s National Financial Prosecutor at the Collective Association of Victims of Fraudulent and Criminal Practices in Lebanon.
It is no surprise that the complaint also lists almost 20 senior Lebanese politicians (probably) involved in dubious investments and also suggests that bank owners and shareholders who could also be targeted in the future. These investments were primarily in France, as noted by SHERPA, a non-governmental organisation that defends victims of economic crimes. The organization along with a group of lawyers is said to have filed the complaint over this.
Apparently, the governor was said to be showing proof of his wealth even before taking office. He had shown documents on many occasions highlighting that the source of his wealth was acquired before 1993. “I have also declared that my properties in France were acquired prior to being governor,” he said.
Strangely, his brother, son and an associate have all been pulled into the legal complaint, said Laura Rousseau, head of the illicit financial flows programme at SHERPA. Lebanon’s financial and political elite have long been under scrutiny over allegations of mismanagement, corruption and obstructing efforts to unlock international aid.
It is an 81-page long complaint in France. Similar complaints against him have been made in the past. His battery of investments is huge- assets, companies and various investment vehicles across Europe are just a few. All of them amount to hundreds of millions of euros. It is been suspected that Salameh along with the family members and his associates has siphoned government money for years to fill up his pockets.
Lebanon faces the worst financial crises where their own currency has been dragged into the dungeons. It holds no economic value for its people or for international trade. Banks have blocked most transfers’ abroad and cut access to deposits too. The pandemic has exasperated the already poverty stricken masses that are crying out loud for change in governance.