EU seizes $130m assets linked to money laundering in Lebanon | Corruption News

Three EU nations seize properties and freeze asset price $130m linked to embezzlement of public funds in Lebanon.

France, Germany and Luxembourg have seized properties and frozen property price 120 million euros ($130m) in an operation linked to cash laundering in Lebanon, in line with the EU’s justice company.

“5 properties in Germany and France had been seized in addition to a number of financial institution accounts [were frozen],” Eurojust stated in a press release on Monday.

The Hague-based Eurojust stated the operation on Friday was directed towards 5 individuals who had been suspected of embezzling public funds in Lebanon of greater than $330m between 2002 and 2021.

This included the seizure of three properties in Germany, valued at 28 million euros ($30m) in addition to different property price seven million euros ($7.6m).

In France, two Paris properties valued at 16 million euros ($17.5m) in addition to a checking account with 2.2 million euros ($2.4m) had been seized.

In Luxembourg, about 11 million euros ($12m) had been frozen in one other checking account, Eurojust stated.

The company didn’t give any particulars on the suspects, saying, “They’re assumed to be harmless till confirmed responsible”.

Related circumstances

French anti-corruption prosecutors opened a probe final yr into the private wealth of Riad Salameh, the central financial institution chief in crisis-hit Lebanon.

Prosecutors are probing Salameh’s alleged hyperlinks to legal associations and cash laundering, judicial sources stated, following an identical transfer by Switzerland.

In publish since 1993 and as soon as hailed by political and enterprise leaders, Salameh has been repeatedly accused by the federal government of former caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab of being chargeable for the collapse of the Lebanese pound.

The Lebanese public suspect him and different excessive officers of transferring cash overseas throughout a 2019 rebellion, when odd individuals had been prevented from doing so.

The 71-year-old former Merrill Lynch banker has defended himself, saying he believed he was being made the scapegoat for the Center Jap nation’s monetary woes.

His legal professionals, too, have known as for the opening of a judicial probe, saying that “it would give us entry to the file” the contents of which “we contest fully”.

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