French Prosecutors had launched a preliminary probe into money laundering charges against the Lebanese Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh, an AFP news report published late on Sunday had unleashed. Apart from that, the French news agency, Agence France-Presse or AFP report had quoted one of the unnamed sources as saying that the Central Bank Governor of Lebanon, whose fiscally beleaguered economy had to put a cap on monthly withdrawals mostly aimed at preventing a mass-scale divestiture of Lebanese Pounds on black markets in exchange of US Dollar or Euro, had been under investigation over allegations of money laundering or possible tie-up with conspiracies to commit organized money laundering.
Nonetheless, while being asked over the AFP report, Salameh’s French lawyer, Pierre-Olivier Sur, branded the charges as politically motivated “communications operation” and brushed aside the allegations cited in the AFP news report.
Aside from that, speaking to a press agency about an ongoing litigation against him launched by the French anti-corruption group Sherpa, Salameh said last month that he gave away evidences that his wealth had been seized long before he took charge of the bank in 1993.
French prosecutors open investigation into Lebanese Central Bank Governor
Nevertheless, although Salameh had dismissed Sherpa's charges last month as his French lawyer did, questions were raised on hundreds of millions of Dollar worth of assets owned by Salameh’s siblings, as Lebanon had opened its own investigation into Salameh on April this year that followed a legal request from Swiss prosecutors, who had alleged over $300 million could be embezzled from Labanese Central Bank through an entity owned by Salameh’s brother.
Besides, Sherpa had filed a legal complaint against Salameh on April this year citing millions of euro worth of property assets.