Featured Lebanon

Nasrallah defies Lebanese state, says he will import Iranian oil

In a speech seen as an act of defiance against the Lebanese state and the US, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Wednesday insisted that Lebanon should be “negotiating with Iran to buy gasoline and diesel with the Lebanese currency if Lebanon’s shortages persist.” Seemingly unconcerned about the possibility that this… Read More

France Probes Lebanese Central Bank Chief’s Wealth

France has opened a probe into the personal wealth of Riad Salameh, central bank chief in crisis-hit Lebanon, sources told AFP on Sunday. Paris financial prosecutors have opened a preliminary probe into criminal association and money laundering by Salameh, a source close to the investigation and a judicial source said,… Read More

From friend to foe: EU prepares sanctions on Lebanon for first time

The European Union is drawing up sanctions on politicians in Lebanon seen as blocking the formation of a government, readying the bloc’s first penalties on its Middle Eastern ally in frustration at the ruling elite’s mismanagement, diplomats said. Led by former colonial power France, the bloc is seeking to ramp… Read More
12th May 2021
The United States has sanctioned seven Lebanese nationals it says are linked to the Iran-backed Hezbollah group, and its financial arm, Al-Qard al-Hassan (AQAH). In a Treasury Department press release Tuesday, the seven were listed as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT). “From the highest levels of Hezbollah’s financial apparatus… Read More
4th May 2021
An anti-corruption group has submitted a legal complaint in France against Lebanon’s central bank governor over foreign investments including property he owns worth millions of euros, two people involved in the filing said on Monday. Sherpa, a non-governmental organisation that defends victims of economic crimes, said in a statement that… Read More
3rd May 2021
Lebanon’s public prosecutor has launched an investigation into central bank governor Riad Salameh, a judicial source said, after a Swiss legal request alleged that more than $300 million had been embezzled from the bank through a company owned by his brother. The senior judicial source told Reuters the offices of… Read More
28th April 2021
A row has broken out between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia over a haul of millions of amphetamine pills smuggled in a shipment of pomegranates. Lebanon appealed to Saudi Arabia this week to lift a ban on imports of fruit and vegetables, which have become an important source of hard currency… Read More
14th April 2021
From the British Virgin Islands to Geneva, Swiss prosecutors are tracking the suspected fund movements of Lebanon’s central bank chief Riad Salameh, a Swiss newspaper reported Tuesday. The Swiss attorney general’s office said in January it was investigating “aggravated money laundering… in connection with possible embezzlement to the detriment of”… Read More
14th April 2021
By Julett Pineda Sleinan, OCCRP, 13 April 2021 OCCRP — In a joint operation led by Interpol, police from 24 countries arrested 195 suspects of human trafficking and migrants smuggling and rescued 500 victims, including children, the international police organization said on Friday. Operation Weka… Read More
7th April 2021
By Lara Dihmis and Tom Stocks, OCCRP, 7 April 2021 OCCRP —  British MP and anti-corruption advocate Margaret Hodge reported Lebanon’s central bank governor Riad Salame and his associates to the U.K. National Crime Agency (NCA) for money laundering and corrupt practices. Hodge’s cabinet confirmed to… Read More
5th March 2021
The U.S. is considering sanctions against Lebanon’s long-serving central bank chief as a broader investigation into the alleged embezzlement of public funds in the country gathers pace, according to four people familiar with the matter. Officials within the Biden administration have discussed the possibility of coordinated measures with their European… Read More
5th February 2021
Lebanon’s public prosecutor sent preliminary findings to Swiss authorities, in response to their request for legal assistance in their investigation of money laundering tied to the Lebanese central bank, the state news agency reported on Thursday. The agency said prosecutor Ghassan Oueidat sent the information through diplomatic channels and asked… Read More
20th January 2021
Swiss authorities have opened an investigation into money transfers by Lebanon’s Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh, a Lebanese government official told Reuters on Tuesday. Salameh denied any wrongdoing. “Both the prime minister and the president are in the loop” on the inquiry which is also looking into Salameh’s brother and… Read More