Director Of Monetary Operations At Central Bank Just Got Arrested

Kataeb | Zawya

On May 14th, 2020, the financial prosecutor Judge Ali Ibrahim issued a warrant for the arrest of Mazen Hamdan, the director of monetary operations at Lebanon’s Central Bank, as part of the investigation of the manipulation of the exchange rate, reported Al Joumhouria.

The Lebanese currency has abruptly lost over 50% of its value. Currently, the lira, which had been stable at 1,500 pounds per dollar is now at 4,200 pounds per dollar.

Investigations made previously revealed that Hamdan had sold dollars to different money changers at 3,200 pounds, which is the price set by the central bank. This means the exchangers were forced to sell it at a higher price.

Hamdan was arrested in the afternoon after two days of interrogation, according to Al Joumhouria. Investigations in this file are to be continued.

Based on the newspaper, BDL employees have announced a strike on Monday, May 18th, to denounce Hamdan’s arrest.

According to Leb Now, journalist Radwan Mourtada reported that Mazen Hamdan informed the judge during the investigation that he was following the orders of the Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh but that the judge didn’t believe him.

Last week, Lebanon saw the arrest of the head of the Syndicate of Money Changers, Mahmoud Mrad. Clearly, the crackdown continues.