Budapest Post

Cum Deo pro Patria et Libertate
Budapest, Europe and world news

French prosecutors accuse Lebanon central bank chief of hiding fraud

French prosecutors accuse Lebanon central bank chief of hiding fraud

French prosecutors have told Lebanon’s central bank governor Riad Salameh they plan to press preliminary fraud and money laundering charges against him, partly based on allegedly forged bank statements used to conceal his wealth, according to French court documents seen by Reuters.
The accusation of using fake account statements, which had not previously been reported, is contained in documents sent to Salameh by French judicial authorities ahead of a planned hearing in France on May 16.

During that hearing, French prosecutors intend to press the preliminary charges and formally name him a suspect.

Salameh declined to comment on his alleged use of fake documents. He has repeatedly denied accusations of fraud and money laundering, saying he is being made a scapegoat for Lebanon’s financial crisis that erupted in 2019.

A lawyer for Salameh said earlier this month that his client had not yet decided if he would travel to France to attend the May 16 hearing.

As part of a joint investigation with counterparts in Lebanon and at least four other European countries, French prosecutors suspect Salameh, 72, colluded with his brother Raja to divert more than $300 million in public funds, some of which was used to buy properties across Europe.

Riad and Raja Salameh have denied diverting public funds.

French and other European investigators, who questioned Salameh in Beirut last month, suspect the bulk of the governor’s fortune stems from the public funds he allegedly diverted.

As part of his response to accusations, Salameh sent French prosecutors a 65-page memo supplied by Marwan Kheireddine, the chairman of Lebanon’s AM Bank.

The document seen by Reuters contains series of bank statements which, according to one of Salameh’s lawyers, show how the governor’s savings rose from $15 million in 1993 to more than $150 million by 2019 “as he capitalized interests.”

But according to the French court documents seen by Reuters, French investigators have reached the conclusion the bank statements were fake.

Salameh “used fake records of bank accounts at AM Bank… provided by Marwan Kheireddine, to justify in a deceitful manner the origin of his properties or revenues,” French prosecutors say in the court documents.

Kheireddine’s lawyer, Thierry Marembert, said his client denied wrongdoing.

Following Salameh’s questioning in Beirut, French prosecutors wrote that “Riad Salameh is not able to justify the different loans and investments that allowed him to increase his wealth by more than 250 million euros (at a minimum) during this period,” according to the French court documents.

Salameh has said his fortune came from the sound management of savings he amassed during his career as an investment banker.

Kheireddine was questioned in France earlier this month on suspicion of participation in a criminal association and aggravated money laundering. The banker was told not to leave the country and his passport was confiscated.
Newsletter

Related Articles

0:00
0:00
Close
Ukraine's Fight Against Corruption Gains Ground Amid War
Czech President Petr Pavel Injured in Motorcycle Accident
Baltic NATO Members to Construct 'Drone Wall'
German Property Crisis Worsens as Foreign Investment Declines
ICC Seeks Arrest Warrants for Israeli and Hamas Leaders
Julian Assange Faces US Extradition: Key Facts
Jacob Zuma Takes Campaign to ANC Stronghold Soweto
Attempted Assassination of Slovakia PM Robert Fico: Investigation Ongoing
Top Tory MP Raises Concerns Over Government Green Targets
Keir Starmer’s Six Key Promises Evaluated
Slovakia Faces Political and Social Turmoil
France Riles Allies by Inviting Russia to D-Day Ceremony
Poland to Spend €2.3 Billion to Reinforce Border with Russia and Belarus
Poland Supports Rolls-Royce's Nuclear Power Plant Initiative
European Ports Overflow with Unsold Electric Vehicles
Esprit Files for Bankruptcy in Europe, Putting Hundreds of Jobs at Risk
Tesla Receives Approval for German Plant Expansion
Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico is in life-threatening condition after being shot multiple times
Xi Jinping Highlights Europe's Divisions Ahead of Putin Visit
German Court Rules AfD Can Be Monitored for Extremism
Xi Jinping Highlights Europe's Divisions Ahead of Putin Visit
UN General Assembly Approves Palestinian Membership Bid
Teens Forming Friendships with AI Chatbots
WhatsApp Rolls Out Major Redesign
Neuralink's First Brain Implant Experiences Issue
Apple Unveils New iPad Pro with M4 Chip, Misleading AI Claims
OpenAI to Announce Google Search Competitor
Apple Apologizes for Controversial iPad Pro Ad Featuring Instrument Destruction
Boeing 737 Catches Fire in Senegal, 10 Injured
Cruise Ship Arrives in NYC with Dead 44-Foot Whale on Bow
Trump lawyer questions Stormy Daniels' account of sex with Trump
Hunter Biden's Gun Charges Upheld, Trial Set for June
Last Indian soldiers leave Maldives
Espionage Scandal in Poland: Listening Devices Found Before Government Meeting
Apple Faces Significant Sales Decline Amid AI Integration Delay
Netanyahu's Firm Stance Amid Rafah Hostage Talks
New UK Laws: Banning Weak Passwords for Internet-Connected Devices to Enhance Cybersecurity
Spanish Prime Minister May Announce Resignation
New Study: Vaping May Lower Fertility in Women Trying to Get Pregnant
U.S. DOJ Seeks Three-Year Sentence for Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao
Orban: Destroy Liberal World Order - Predicts End This Year
Diplomatic Tensions: Sunak Clashes with Macron Over Rwanda Plan
A Jewish woman was kidnapped and raped in Gennevilliers (a suburb in western Paris), France, on the background of hatred for Israel
Russia: Deputy Defense Minister Arrested on Suspicion of Taking Bribes
Stanford Researchers Discover Child Abuse Material in AI Image Generator Dataset: Can Regulations Prevent Explicit Deepfakes of Children?
Record-Breaking 'Extreme Heat Stress' Days in Europe's Contrasting 2023 Summer: A Health Threat
Thousands Evacuated: 1,000-Kg NATO Bomb Removed from Serbian City
European Car Sales Drop 5.2% in March: Electric Vehicles Face Challenges Amidst Market Downturn and High Prices
Urgent Call from William Burns as Kyiv Braces for Russian Summer Offensive.
IMF Boosts Russia's 2024 Economic Growth Forecast to 3.2%
×