Citing four sources familiar with the matter, Reuters relays that the United Kingdom‘s national organized crime agency NCA is currently reviewing a report that accuses Lebanon’s Central Bank governor Riad Salameh (and associates) of money laundering and other corruption practices.
According to Reuters, the 76-page report lists “assets, companies, and investment vehicles in Britain that are worth hundreds of millions of [British] pounds” that Salameh, family members, and his associates allegedly used to move funds out of Lebanon.
The report was prepared and submitted to the NCA by a London-based legal practice, Guernica37, on behalf of a Lebanese group of civil society abroad.
While the NCA did not confirm if it had launched an investigation yet or not, two sources told Reuters that the agency is in the process of determining “whether there were sufficient grounds to start a formal investigation.”
When Salameh read the report, he dismissed it as part of a “smear campaign” against him and told Reuters the allegations were false. Salameh‘s stance has always been to deny allegations of financial misconduct
Back in January, Switzerland was looking into Salameh for “aggravated money laundering” and possible embezzlement linked to the Central Bank, which Salameh has been heading as Governor since 1993.
Salameh is deemed a main player in Lebanon’s financial crisis and the collapse of its banking system. However, his role, whether innocent or guilty, is up to Alvarez & Marsal’s forensic financial audit of the Central Bank to determine.