Lebanon Central Bank workers strike after judge raids HQ

by | Jul 20, 2022 | World

Beirut, Lebanon – Employees at Lebanon’s central bank have begun a three-day strike after a prosecuting judge attempted to arrest the bank’s governor.Judge Ghada Aoun, who authorised a judicial raid on the Lebanon Central Bank headquarters in Beirut on Tuesday, has tried more than once to arrest Riad Salameh, Lebanon’s longtime central bank governor, and has openly accused the country’s politicians of protecting him from prosecution.
However, Salameh still commanded loyalty from his employees, who began their strike on Wednesday in protest at what they called the judge’s “militia” tactics.
Salameh is now being investigated in five European countries, as well as Lebanon, for possible money laundering and illicit enrichment.
In Europe, authorities have frozen more than 100 million euros worth of assets belonging to Salameh and a handful of associates as they investigate the apparent transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars from Lebanon’s central bank to a brokerage company registered to Salameh’s brother.
Aoun has charged Salameh with falsifying the budget of Lebanon’s central bank to hide losses.
The judge told Al Jazeera on Wednesday that she was uncertain about whether she would try to arrest Salameh again.
Aoun has previously attempted to execute the warrant at the governor’s private residence, but to no avail.
“I feel the people in the street must react. It’s their money. I’m facing a big mafia,” Aoun said, referring to the politici …

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