This is a new and interesting situation around the never-ending issue of international corruption. Interpol Red Notice wants an acting central bank chief on suspicion of corruption. Lebanon’s interior minister, Bassam Mawlawi, informed Reuters on Friday that an Interpol notice has been received for Riad Salameh, the country’s central bank governor. Mawlawi stated that the notice would be followed if the judiciary instructed him to do so.
The Interpol notice was issued following France’s arrest warrant for Riad Salameh as part of an investigation into allegations of embezzlement of hundreds of millions of dollars in public funds, which the governor denies. Salameh slammed the French move, calling it a violation of the law, and promised to appeal.
The 72-year-old is part of the Lebanese political elite widely blamed for a crushing economic crisis that began in late 2019. He has been the target of a series of judicial investigations on allegations that include fraud, money laundering, and illicit enrichment, with investigators examining the fortune he has amassed during almost 30 years on the job.
Mawlawi emphasized that Lebanon would follow the instructions of the judiciary, and he believed Salameh needed to resign. Lebanon’s deputy prime minister also called for the governor’s resignation. The matter is set to be discussed at a consultative cabinet meeting on Monday and has already been discussed among the country’s senior leaders.