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Lebanon seizes properties of banks and their chairpersons

Lebanon banks

The first investigating judge in Lebanon has issued a decision Wednesday to prohibit the disposal of the real estate of some banks and their chairpersons’ properties, shares and stakes in a number of companies, informed sources told Business News Report.

First investigating judge Amani Salameh’s decision comes based on a direct criminal complaint submitted by the lawyer of the legal department of “The People Want To Reform The System” group on behalf of a group of depositors against all banks operating in Lebanon and their boards of directors.

Lebanon banks

The compliant includes charges of breach of trust, fraud, fraudulent bankruptcy, fraud carried out by smuggling funds at the expense of depositing creditors, undermining the state’s financial position, money laundering, illicit wealth, and assault on the constitution, and others.

The group expects that in the coming days the decision will include persons with privileges and influence who are suspected of being involved in the alleged crimes.

Lawyer Hassan Bazzi said that the decision now includes 15 banks, including Bank Audi, Fransabank and BLOM Bank and the real estate of their chairpersons and their shares. This is only the beginning, Bazzi said.

Bazzi stresses that one of the most important effects of the decision is having a fair and honorable judiciary that people can trust that has a political criterion.

He says that the civil movement groups and the group are practically a judicial spearhead capable of continuing the war against bank owners.

From the judicial point of view, Bazzi points out that this decision prohibits disposing of real estate, whether by sale, mortgage, insurance, or otherwise, to turn into something like an endowment under the care and disposal of the court, and it will remain until the judge returns from it.

However, he says he does not think that this will happen because the lawsuit is at a local level and its background is national, and these properties are equivalent to only five percent of the money deposited in Lebanese banks.

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