Featured Lebanon

US imposes sanctions on Syrian president’s wife under Caesar Act

The Syrian first lady, Asma al-Assad, has been named in the first round of new US sanctions that are certain to intensify pressure on the embattled regime and its backers as the country’s crippled economy continues to wither. The law, known as the Caesar Act, came into effect on Wednesday,… Read More

US ‘Caesar Act’ sanctions could devastate Syria’s flatlining economy

Its currency has plunged by 70% since April, more than half its people face food scarcity, and hopes of rebuilding a country shattered by war continue to ebb. Syria seems barely able to absorb new shocks, but new US sanctions that take effect next week, could devastate what is left… Read More

Lebanon adopts law to lift banking secrecy for officials

Lebanon’s parliament Thursday adopted a law to lift banking secrecy for public officials including over corruption or funding “terrorism”, a lawmaker said, after months of protests in the crisis-hit country. But the final text did not allow judges to independently order a disclosure, in a last-minute change that an activist… Read More
24th May 2020
If you have been dreaming of getting away from the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, you can — provided you have some cash in hand. For the starting sum of $150,000, you can buy your citizenship of the pristine Caribbean islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis. With their pure… Read More
19th May 2020
AP — A Lebanese prosecutor on Monday charged a senior central bank official with manipulation of the exchange rate and money laundering as part of an ongoing probe amid the country’s financial turmoil. The move reflects a growing clash between the central bank and the government at a critical time,… Read More
23rd April 2020
Lebanon’s legalisation of cannabis for medical use has been praised by politicians who highlighted its potential to shore up the state’s debt-ridden coffers, but locals and specialists warned that it could increase corruption. MP Antoine Habchi, who worked on a draft version of the bill, said it was a “major… Read More
15th April 2020
Hezbollah is stepping up a campaign to place allies at the heart of Lebanon’s financial authorities as the US seeks to disrupt the armed group’s financial networks, four senior Arab financiers said on Thursday. The outcome of the political battle could extend Hezbollah’s reach to the nerve centre of Lebanon’s… Read More
6th April 2020
A shadowy Hezbollah intelligence operative in Iraq has close ties to what the US refers to as a key money-laundering network by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, an investigation by The National has found. In November 2018, the US sanctioned Mohammad Abd Al Hadi Farhat, saying the Lebanese… Read More
27th February 2020
The Trump administration’s blacklisting Wednesday of several Lebanese individuals and companies for allegedly helping Iran-backed Hezbollah highlights Washington’s strategy to counter a U.S.-designated terror group. The Treasury Department blacklisted three officials and 11 entities linked to the Lebanon branch of the Martyrs Foundation, a group the U.S. designated in 2007… Read More
26th February 2020
Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Sen. Ted Cruz on Monday introduced legislation requiring “biting” sanctions against Lebanese officials who have been involved in what they call the “unlawful detention and abuse” of U.S. citizens. The Zero Tolerance Act is being filed in response to the Lebanese government’s months-long holding… Read More
3rd February 2020
Airbus SE has long since disbanded the so-called strategy and marketing unit at the center of its record $4 billion bribery settlement, but for years it had quite a heyday. According to documents filed by U.S. prosecutors on Friday, the 150-person team used its $300 million annual budget… Read More
17th January 2020
Lebanon’s central bank has asked banks to review transfers of funds abroad by politicians and government employees between Oct. 17 and Dec. 31, when anti-government protests led banks to enforce informal capital controls that blocked such transfers. The move appeared to be a step towards probing movements of money out… Read More
2nd January 2020
Carlos Ghosn’s escape to Lebanon from Japan followed months of planning by associates aimed at getting the former head of the Renault-Nissan alliance to a country they believed would provide a more friendly legal environment to try the claims of financial wrongdoing against him, according to people familiar with… Read More