Lebanon’s central bank obscured recipients of commissions
For more than a decade, Lebanon’s central bank charged commercial banks in the country commissions when they bought government securities without making clear that the bulk of those commissions went to a company controlled by the brother of the central bank’s governor, according to documents seen by Reuters.
Swiss authorities suspect the Salameh brothers may have illegally taken more than $300 million in this way from BDL between 2002 and 2015, laundering some of the money in Switzerland, according to a letter the Swiss attorney general sent to Lebanese officials last year, which was seen by Reuters.
Salameh said such commissions as those in the contracts seen by Reuters were paid to Forry. He denies embezzlement, saying none of the commission money belonged to the central bank, a publicly owned institution.