Over the past few hours, social media posts have claimed that some foreign branches of the international money transfer company, Western Union, have stopped allowing transfers to Lebanon.
Understandably, this caused quite a concern due to the fact that countless Lebanese people rely on the company to send or receive payments to/from the countries that allegedly blocked Lebanon.
So, how true is this claim?
Claim: British, French, and Australian Western Union agents have blacklisted Lebanon and will no longer process transfers to the country.
Verdict: The claim is false.
OMT denied it in a statement.
The961 has been able to transfer funds from outside of Lebanon multiple times without any issues.
On Wednesday afternoon, June 10th, OMT, an Accredited Agent of Western Union in Lebanon, cleared up the confusion through an official statement that read:
“In response to what is being circulated on social media platforms, that Western Union agents in France, the United Kingdom, and Australia are unable to transfer money to Lebanon via the Western Union network because Lebanon was listed on the blacklist of countries that can be dealt with, and after contacting Western Union to confirm the details, OMT is interested in denying the report in its entirety and insists that the information being circulated is incorrect.”
Furthermore, OMT assured that “the money transfer service from France, the UK, and Australia to Lebanon via the Western Union network are available and customers can receive remittances, including those from the mentioned countries, through any OMT center in Lebanon.”
Notably, this Western Union rumor comes after news reached Lebanon that some foreign banks are starting to blacklist Lebanon due to the unenviable state of its banking sector.
It also comes in a time when the USD/LBP exchange rate in Lebanon’s parallel market is edging closer and closer to the 5,000 mark, which collides with the recent promise that the rate will reach 3,200 soon.