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Lebanese government funds hidden in Switzerland?

Up to two billion francs of Lebanese state funds are said to have been hidden in Swiss banks. Now the BA is determining. (Symbol image)


Serious money laundering and misappropriation of state funds: The Federal Prosecutor’s Office asks Lebanon’s authorities for legal assistance. The focus of the investigation is the central bank chief of the crisis-ridden country. It’s about up to two billion francs.

The Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s Office has asked the Lebanese authorities for legal assistance in investigations into suspected money laundering and embezzlement. Funds from the Lebanese central bank, the Bank of Lebanon, are said to have been moved to Switzerland on a large scale.

The federal prosecutor’s office confirmed the request for legal assistance to the Keystone-SDA news agency, but did not want to provide any further information. For Fabian Molina (SP) it is high time for the investigation. The National Council has been dealing with the case for a long time. At SRF said he: “The Federal Council, Federal Prosecutor and Finma have known for a long time that this money is in Switzerland. Nevertheless, it went so long before proceedings were initiated. “

Investigations against central bank chief

According to the French news agency AFP, which quoted an anonymous Lebanese judicial source on Tuesday, the investigation is about money transfers from central bank governor Riad Salamé. Specifically, he and his helpers are said to have transferred $ 400 million abroad, despite banking restrictions.

According to the source, the Swiss application should not contain evidence, but a list of questions to be asked of Salamé and other people. The Lebanese central bank chief denied all allegations as “inventions and fake news”.

Molina: “Banks neglect their duty of care”

Fabia Molina assumes that Lebanese state funds will now be blocked at Swiss banks. In total, it could be up to two billion francs that were hidden in Switzerland, he speculates according to the SRF and gives the financial institutions a bad report.

“Switzerland still has a bad money laundering system – the banks are obviously neglecting their duty of care,” criticized the SP National Council. Meanwhile, the financial market regulator Finma is not doing enough to correct the “misconduct of the financial center”.

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