Central Bank of Lebanon Governor: Circulating figures on the Swiss investigation are "inflated"

The governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon, Riad Salameh, said today that the numbers circulating in some media outlets and on social media sites related to an investigation by the Swiss authorities into allegations of money laundering and embezzlement are "inflated."

Swiss investigators said last week that they were looking into the allegations linked to the Central Bank of Lebanon.

The Swiss Attorney General's office did not say whether Salameh was a suspect or not, nor did it provide any other details about the case.

A source familiar with the case said that Switzerland had asked the Lebanese authorities, through the embassy, ​​to direct "specific questions" to Salama and his brother, and to assist him regarding transfers abroad that had taken place in recent years, amounting to about $ 350 million.

And Salameh said in a statement today, that "all the news and numbers circulating in some media and on social media are very inflated and have no relation to reality."

Salameh, who has led the Central Bank of Lebanon since 1993, answered questions from the Lebanese Discrimination Prosecutor on Thursday.

Salameh's performance has come under scrutiny after the collapse of Lebanon's financial system during an unprecedented crisis in 2019 that caused the value of the Lebanese pound to plummet and default on a sovereign debt.

A Lebanese government official said that the Swiss authorities are investigating financial transfers related to Salama and are also concerned with his brother and his assistance.

Salameh indicated that any allegations regarding such transfers are "fabrications."

Today, Salameh said that the logic of "Lie ... Lie ... something must be stuck in people's minds" will not work, adding that "all the facts are documented."

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