The investigation revolves round cash laundering and embezzling public funds in Lebanon between 2002 and 2021.
Lebanon’s central financial institution head is likely one of the targets in a joint money-laundering probe spearheaded by three European international locations over the alleged embezzlement of greater than $330 million.
Authorities in France, Germany and Luxembourg froze belongings value a complete of 120 million euros ($132 million) on March 25 in an investigation involving 5 suspects, European Union officers mentioned Wednesday.
Riad Salameh is likely one of the suspects, a spokeswoman for Munich prosecutors advised Bloomberg, declining to offer extra particulars. Salameh’s workplace didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark
The investigation facilities round cash laundering and embezzling public funds in Lebanon between 2002 and 2021, Eurojust mentioned. 5 properties in Germany and France had been seized in addition to a number of financial institution accounts.
Salameh has already been below investigation in France, Switzerland and Lebanon, elevating stress on the once-celebrated veteran banker who’s been on the helm of the central financial institution, also called Banque du Liban, since 1993. Swiss authorities are trying into allegations that he benefited from the sale of Lebanese Eurobonds held within the central financial institution’s portfolio, Bloomberg reported in early 2021.
Salameh has denied the allegations and has mentioned they’re a part of a media marketing campaign to tarnish his picture. His fortune was amassed throughout a earlier profession as a personal banker at Merrill Lynch, he has mentioned.
The central banker has been on the forefront of Lebanon’s worst monetary disaster in a long time as many partly blamed him for the financial collapse that worn out individuals’s life-savings, triggered triple-digit inflation and plunged the center class into poverty.