Bankers have smuggled up to $6 billion outside Lebanon since October, former Director-General of the Ministry of Finance Alain Bifani told the Financial Times.
In an interview with the newspaper, Bifani claimed that the banking elite had been trying to “continue to benefit from the system” without taking any loss while causing the Lebanese today to “pay a terrible price.”
Basing the estimate on his interpretation of the figures and consultation with Lebanon’s banking control authority, the resigned civil servant said that $5.5bn-$6bn had been “smuggled outside the country by bankers who would [not allow] every other depositor to take $100.”
Having recently resigned from his director-general position of 20 years, Alain Bifani accused a “dirty money elite” of politicians and bankers of shifting the losses massively to the population through the fall of the Lebanese pound.
On the black market, Lebanon’s national currency has depreciated by 80% against the U.S. dollar, which has become a rare commodity in the country’s local market.