Riad Salameh, governor of Lebanon's central bank, speaks to the Financial Times in his office in Beirut, Lebanon, on October 30, 2017. [Sam Tarling for the Financial Times]

An association called “Cries of depositors” lodged a new complaint against the governor of the Banque du Liban. This complaint was lodged with the prosecutor of the Republic of Mount Lebanon, Judge Ghada Aoun.

According to the press release published by this association, are also targeted by this complaint, in addition to the Governor of the Banque du Liban Riad Salameh, its director of treasury operations Mazen Hamdan, the banking control commissioner Maya Dabbagh, the president of the money changers union Mahmoud Al-Murad, and his predecessor Mahmoud Halawi, the “Halawi Exchange Company”, Michel Mekattaf and his company and various money changers.

They believe that the Bank of Lebanon has not put in place and taken “dissuasive and protective decisions of rights in the midst of the suffocating crisis experienced by the Lebanese, the chaos of the dollar price, the gratuitous collapse of the delivered”. It is also about not losing the rights of depositors.

The depositors denounce that no judicial decision qualified as serious “has been taken to put an end to the financial speculation and the dollar trade, and to the crimes which this implies of money laundering, striking the national currency, the escape tax, illegal enrichment and other things “, while a number of those responsible for this sector are the subject of legal proceedings in Lebanon and abroad.

They therefore call for the acceleration of the investigations underway in Lebanon, to “prevent further harm to the national economy by taking swift action against them, in particular: research and investigation reports, travel ban and filing of the bank secrecy on their accounts, refer them to investigation and trial, and take the necessary precautionary measures with regard to the movable and immovable funds of the defendants, in particular those of the central governor and category A money changers.

In addition, they recalled that the judge is currently summoning the leaders of Bank Audi, SGBL and Byblos Bank.

As a reminder, the previous complaint against local banks and their leaders was refused in 2020 by the Attorney General of the Republic, Judge Ghassan Oweidat after they announced a general strike following a decision by financial prosecutor Ali Ibrahim to freeze their property.

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