Lebanon's central bank head denies transferring money abroad from official accounts

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Lebanon’s central bank governor has denied that he transferred money from official accounts to personal accounts in Lichtenstein, claiming the allegations were part of a campaign against him and the central bank.

Governor Riad Salameh said Cristal Credit Groupe International, the company which produced the reports of transfers dating back to 2016, is "known to everyone" to produce forged reports. The company is based in Lyon, France and is managed by Kevin Rivaton, Lebanon’s official National News Agency reported yesterday.

Pictures of the reports of the transfers were posted on social media by an account named "@alebanonymous." The report's validity is yet to be verified.

“Compiling such a report came at the request of certain Lebanese authorities whose names and identities are known by the Central Bank of Lebanon. The bank has informed the competent authorities outside Lebanon of the details of what was contained in this forged report, in order to take appropriate legal measures thereon," Salameh said.

Last week, Lebanon announced it would audit its central bank in a bid to show transparency after debt restructuring talks were launched.

The Arabic outlet Al Arab reported that Salameh “has been under attack for months by a campaign by Hezbollah and its allies” for the governor’s stance toward US sanctions against the Iran-backed political and military group.

The recent allegations come just months after investigations were launched into money funneled into foreign bank accounts as nationwide protests began in mid-October 2019.

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