Riad Salameh Was Just Charged With Financial Crimes, These Are All The Charges

The Central Bank Governor of Lebanon, Riad Salameh, along with his brother Raja and his assistant Marianne Hoayek, have been charged with money laundering, public funds embezzlement, tax evasion, forgery, and illicit enrichment by Beirut Attorney General Judge Raja Hamoush.

The state-run National News Agency reports that the suspects have been referred to Beirut First Examining Magistrate Charbel Abu Samra for interrogation, and “necessary judicial writs” have been demanded.

Salameh is already under investigation in Europe for alleged financial misconduct, including money laundering and embezzlement.

Investigators from France, Germany, and Luxembourg have interviewed witnesses in Beirut as part of the case, and Salameh and his brother have denied any wrongdoing.

The European investigators are also looking into the central bank’s ties to Forry Associates Ltd, a British Virgin Islands-registered company that listed Raja Salameh as its beneficiary.

Forry is suspected of having brokered Lebanese treasury bonds and Eurobonds at a commission, which was allegedly transferred to Raja Salameh‘s bank accounts abroad.

Last year, Lebanon opened its own probe into Salameh’s affairs, after the office of Switzerland’s top prosecutor requested assistance with an investigation into more than $300 million allegedly embezzled from the central bank with the help of his brother.

Salameh, who has been in office for three decades, has been widely criticized for monetary policies that have contributed to an unprecedented economic crisis in Lebanon.

Since the financial crisis hit Lebanon in late 2019, the country’s currency has lost more than 95 percent of its value, and much of the population has been plunged into poverty.

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