Not Any More – The United Australian Lebanese Movement

BEIRUT, Lebanon — For decades, Riad Salameh, Lebanon’s central bank chief, was lauded at home and abroad as a financial wizard who kept the economy running and the currency stable despite wars, assassinations and frequent political turmoil. Not anymore. This country at the crossroads of the Middle East is suffering from a collapse of historic proportions: Its banks are largely insolvent, unemployment is soaring, its currency has crashed and many Lebanese blame Mr. Salameh for shortages that have left them struggling to afford food, scrambling to find medication and waiting in long lines to fuel up their cars. Now, Mr. Salameh is being accused of a perhaps more unforgivable sin: enriching himself and his inner circle through years of corruption. Paris anticorruption judges opened an investigation this month into criminal allegations that Mr. Salameh, one of the world’s longest-serving central bank chiefs, fraudulently amassed an outsize fortune in Europe by abusing his power. The judicial investigation follows a preliminary inquiry by the French National Financial Prosecutor’s Office.

As Lebanon Collapses, the Man With an Iron Grip on Its Finances Faces Questions – The United Australian Lebanese Movement