Rear View – Lebanon in review (11 April 2021)
5 April: U.K. STILL CHASING SALAMEH
Central Bank Governor, Riad Salameh and some of his close associates are accused of money laundering and corrupt practices, according to a report by British lawyers and submitted to the organized crime agency in Britain. Reuters revealed that the report outlines “assets, companies and investment vehicles in Britain worth hundreds of millions of pounds,” which Salameh allegedly used in recent years to transfer funds out of Lebanon. Salameh claimed the allegations were “false” and part of a smear campaign against him.
At the same time, Salameh is facing allegations from the Swiss judiciary regarding suspicious money transfers related to him, his brother, and his assistant, as well as other cases brought by Judge Ghada Aoun of “money exchangers and the subsidized dollar” and professional negligence.
7 April: USD$6BN SMUGGLED OUT OF LEBANON
A Foreign Policy magazine article last week quoting an unnamed senior banker, confirmed a report last year that an estimated USD$6 billion was smuggled out of Lebanon to protect the ultra-wealthy. The senior banker who spoke to the magazine on the condition of anonymity admitted that “the political and wealthy elite put pressure on the banks to transfer their money overseas.” Although the banker claimed that “banks have imposed tight capital controls with the objective of halting the financial collapse,” the article considered this step an informal capital control which laid the burden of the financial collapse on small and medium depositors, in order to protect the rich and powerful.
The article, titled “Nobody Knows What Lebanon’s Currency Is Worth Anymore,” deals with the country’s economic crisis, the various exchange rates, and the increasing demand for dollars in the parallel market.
For more information about the article, kindly visit this link: Nobody Knows What Lebanon’s Currency Is Worth Anymore (foreignpolicy.com)
8 April CINEMA AGAINST CORRUPTION
The Istanbouli Theatre and the Tiro Association for the Arts launched the 8th edition of the Tyre International Short Film Festival titled “Cinema against corruption.” The festival will run from April 10 to 13, with 27 participating films from 13 countries ranging from fiction to documentaries and animation.
The festival sheds light on local and student cinema, and according to actor and director Kassem Istanbuli, founder of Tyre’s Lebanese National Theatre, this year’s edition will be focusing on “films that deal with corruption and oppression in countries witnessing protests and popular revolutions, and the importance of the role cinema plays in societal change.”
For more information on the festival, kindly visit this link: https://filmfreeway.com/TyreInternationalShortFilmFestival
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