US, UK, and Canada Sanction Lebanon's Former Central Bank Governor over Corruption Allegations

The United States, United Kingdom, and Canada slapped sanctions Thursday on Lebanon's embattled former central bank governor and a handful of close relatives and associates over allegations of corruption, the U.S. Treasury Department said, the Associated Press reported. Riad Salameh, 73, ended his 30-year tenure on July 31 under a cloud of investigation and blame for his country's historic economic crisis. France, Germany, and Luxembourg are investigating Salameh and close associates over alleged financial crimes, including illicit enrichment and the laundering of $330 million. Paris and Berlin issued Interpol notices on Salameh in May, though Lebanon does not hand over its citizens to foreign countries. “Salameh abused his position of power, likely in violation of Lebanese law, to enrich himself and his associates by funneling hundreds of millions of dollars through layered shell companies to invest in European real estate,” a U.S. Treasury Department statement said. The statement said the U.S. coordinated the sanctions with the U.K. and Canada and that assets connected to Salameh would be frozen. The U.S. also sanctioned Salameh’s son Nady, brother Raja, close associate Marianne Hoayek and “former partner” Anna Kosakova. The U.K. sanctioned the same list of people except Nady Salameh, and Canada sanctioned only Salameh, his brother and Howayek. Read more.