2nd Search Into Shadowy Salameh’s Suspected Stealing Started
France’s National Financial Prosecutor’s Office on Monday announced it had launched a preliminary probe into money-laundering allegations against Lebanese central bank governor Riad Salameh. The investigation, kicked off in late May, will look into the powerful official’s possible shady dealings and connections with organized crime in Lebanon and abroad. As the country battles its worst economic crisis in recent history, the 70-year-old Salameh, serving as Banque du Liban chief since 1993, has increasingly come under scrutiny, with a separate criminal inquiry by Switzerland’s attorney general into alleged embezzlement by Salameh, his brother and other aides begun in January. On Sunday, the banker’s lawyer dismissed the claims as a politically motivated media stunt. Lebanon’s financial woes, compounded by ongoing political instability, were made worse last year by the global pandemic and a devastating August blast in Beirut that killed hundreds and injured thousands.