Lebanese Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh, along with his brother Raja and an assistant, have been charged with money laundering, embezzlement, and illicit enrichment by a Lebanese judge after an 18-month investigation.
The charges come amidst multiple accusations of corruption and the embezzlement of funds by Salameh, who confirmed earlier this month that he is prepared to resign from his 30-year stint as central bank governor when his fifth term ends this year.
The accusations against Salameh
The accusations against Salameh include the embezzlement of $330 million from the central bank through a contract he signed with Forry Associates, a financial services company run by his brother.
Despite the accusations, the Salameh brothers have denied any wrongdoing. A previous judge had recused himself from the case and did not file charges. The charges against Salameh come at a time when Lebanon is facing a severe economic crisis with a rapidly devaluing currency, hyperinflation, and increasing poverty rates.
Who is Riad Salameh?
Riad Salameh is the Governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon and has held this position since 1993. Salameh is a well-known figure in Lebanon and has been involved in the country’s financial and economic policy for several decades. He is also considered a close ally of the Lebanese political elite.
Image Credit: AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File