Lebanese Authorities Question Central Bank Governor Over Alleged Money Transfers

TDS/Mohamad Azakir

Cooperating with Switzerland‘s request for an inquiry into Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh, Lebanon’s Public Prosecutor Judge Ghassan Oueidat summoned Salameh on Thursday.

In a statement by Lebanon’s Central Bank, Salameh said that he provided Judge Oueidat with answers to all the questions he had and those raised by the Swiss public prosecutor.

He denied that any transfers from the Central Bank’s accounts were made and that he was willing to answer any question – in other words, that he has nothing to hide. In addition, he said he would go to Switzerland to defend himself.

“I also reserved for myself the right to legal prosecution against all those who insist on spreading malicious rumors and insults that affect me personally as well as damage Lebanon’s financial reputation,” Salameh added.

Swiss authorities are currently looking into “aggravated money laundering” and possible embezzlement linked to the Central Bank, which Salameh has been heading as Governor since 1993.

According to Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar, higher authorities in Switzerland and the European Union are investigating transactions linked to him, his brother Raja, and his assistant Marianne Hoayek, amounting to nearly $400 million.


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