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Aoun Calls for Unveiling ‘Biggest Heist in Lebanon’s History’

Aoun Calls for Unveiling ‘Biggest Heist in Lebanon’s History’

Thursday, 8 April, 2021 - 08:15
Lebanon's President Michel Aoun at the presidential palace in Baabda (Reuters)

Lebanese President Michel Aoun has called on the Lebanese to put their political differences aside and support him in unveiling the biggest heist in Lebanon’s history, saying the forensic audit may be harder than liberating the land.

In a televised speech, Aoun slammed the Central Bank saying that political parties provided cover for its operations, accusing it of violating the Code of Money and Credit.

“You should have organized the banking practice and taken the measures to protect the people’s money in banks and imposed solvency and liquidity standards."

The president accused the banks of squandering people’s money, saying: “your liability is obvious, and you cannot run away from the truth: people entrusted you with their money and you disposed of it irresponsibly, yearning for quick profit without distributing the risks according to professional rules.”

Aoun stressed that the forensic audit is the demand of all the Lebanese, pointing out that the collapse of the forensic audit “means a hit to the French initiative because without it, there is no international support, no CEDRE money, no Arab or Gulf support, and no International Monetary Fund.”

He believed that undermining the audit will be a blow to the government's decision, calling for an extraordinary session to take appropriate decisions to protect people's deposits, uncover the causes of the collapse, and define responsibilities in preparation for accountability and the restoration of rights.

The central bank’s accounts were not transparent, and it was unaware of the shortage in foreign exchange reserves, which was illegally covered from depositors’ money, according to Aoun.

He explained that the government assigned the consultancy firm Alvarez & Marsal for the audit, but the governor of the central bank refused to answer 73 out of 133 questions it had sent, claiming they violated the Code of Money and Credit or had no answer.

"It has become clear that the goal of stalling the audit is to push the company to despair to leave Lebanon and stop the audit,” said Aoun, warning that the criminals will get away from punishment.

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