Judge Ghada Aoun Just Froze The Assets Of Five Lebanon-Based Banks

Ghada Aoun | AP Photo/Bilal Hussein

Mount Lebanon Prosecutor Judge Ghada Aoun decided on Monday to freeze the assets of five Lebanon-based banks and include their boards of chiefs.

This move comes within Judge Aoun’s investigation of the suspected transfers of millions of dollars that had occurred after the start of the economic crisis in 2019.

She has now frozen the assets of Bank Audi, Bankmed, Blom Bank, SGBL, and Bank of Beirut. The decision also covers real estate, vehicles, and shares the banks and their chiefs own in other companies.

On March 11, Aoun imposed precautionary travel bans on the directors of those five banks.

Lebanese banks have been reportedly transferring abroad the money of Lebanese politicians after imposing an informal capital control. They’ve frozen people’s money in banks, severely limiting withdrawals of their money and disallowing them to make transfers.

The consequences have been severe on the people amid hyperinflation and harsh economic crisis. Most have been struggling, including parents who have been unable to transfer tuition costs to their children studying abroad.

There have been also cases of local rents deposited in banks not being transferred to the Lebanese landlords living abroad since 2019. Many of these landlords rely on these annual rents of their properties in Lebanon to cover their own rent where they reside abroad.

Meanwhile, politicians and banks officials don’t appear to be affected or suffering the same consequences.

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