A Lebanese judge orders the freezing of assets of the governor of the Central Bank

Beirut, Jan 18 (EFE) .- A Lebanese magistrate ordered this Tuesday to freeze “all” the real estate of the governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon, Riad Salamé, investigated in several countries for alleged economic crimes and on whom a travel ban already weighs recently issued by the same judge. The decision of Judge Ghada Aoun, which became effective “immediately”, also affects the vehicles of the economist, head of the issuing entity for nearly three decades, reported the official Lebanese media National News Agency. A week ago, Aoun issued a travel ban against Salamé following a complaint filed by lawyers from the Lebanese anti-corruption group “The People Want to Reform the System” and “the appearance of data in the preliminary investigation file that includes hints and evidence “. Likewise, last October, the New York firm Álvarez & Marsal (A&M) began a forensic audit within the Central Bank, after abandoning the previous investigation for alleged obstruction by the entity. The process is expected to shed light on the causes of the deep economic crisis that began in the Mediterranean country at the end of 2019, which has caused a devaluation of more than 90% of the local currency, has left almost 80% of the population below the poverty line and has caused severe shortages of basic goods. In addition to the accusations of corruption in Lebanon, Salamé faces a preliminary investigation in France for the alleged constitution of fraudulent assets and an investigation in Switzerland for millionaire financial movements between the Swiss country and the Mediterranean nation. In a country where corruption is endemic, the entity he heads is also accused of deepening the crisis with his policies, an unpopularity that has increased in recent months after he ran out of reserves to continue subsidizing basic products in the midst of the crisis. EFE njd/cgs/pddp


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