Money Smuggling Scandal: Authorities Acknowledge in Attempt to Recover and Retain Funds

A political, financial, and moral scandal has been acknowledged by the authorities, a scandal that constitutes a blatant case of authority’s insolence in selectively exercising laws to suit their partners and cronies. The scandal was initially disavowed by the authorities who described it as legitimate money transfer. Now it is being reconsidered in an attempt to recover and retain these funds due to rising concerns of potential confiscation by foreign authorities.

Read more: Capital Control Measures Continue to Hurt Remittances, the Largest Foreign Currency Supply Source

This resounding new “gaffe” reveals the depth of corruption of the authorities and their operatives. As the international community moves to seize these assets and prevent their use,awaiting the government or the people of Lebanon’s request, these operatives are meticulously working to abuse the law and taking measures to protect those millions along with those who stole them.

This scandal also exposes the blackmail of the nation by those who transferred their capital in the months prior to the October 17th uprising. The smuggled funds represent around $4 billion, belonging to 9 alleged political figures or close partners , and have been taken abroad from Lebanese banks. Some banks have also taken out deposits of up to $3 billion under the pretext of foreign investments.

The owners of these deposits are now attempting a reverse smuggling operation to return these deposits back to Lebanon. This operation is being performed concurrently with a scheme through the help of BdL and a number of political leaders to ensure the passing of laws that would allow these returning funds to be excluded from the restrictions imposed on all current deposits in Lebanese banks. This would ensure that these deposits would be considered as “fresh money” entering Lebanon which guarantees their owners complete control over their withdrawal unlike all other bank deposits before October 2019.

This new laws are not intended to attract investors who have lost trust in the banking system. No financier outside of Lebanon will commit new deposits no matter how many of these laws are passed. The trust in the banking system has become near in-existent if not long gone. Therefore, these laws are intended to re-smuggle those funds that were suspiciously removed from the banks and have become subject to freezing due to charges of corruption by the Swiss government. This is what is driving the owners of these deposits to return them to Lebanon and issue new laws to protect them once they arrive. This scheme is an attempt at walking back the initial smuggling attempt because Lebanon is the last remaining place able to protect them.

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