Forensic report on BDL submitted by A&M to Finance Minister sheds light on Forry controversy, suggests criminal implications

Lebanon Economy
2023-06-22 | 08:27
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Forensic report on BDL submitted by A&M to Finance Minister sheds light on Forry controversy, suggests criminal implications
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Forensic report on BDL submitted by A&M to Finance Minister sheds light on Forry controversy, suggests criminal implications

Eight months behind schedule, the global professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal has finally delivered their preliminary report on the forensic audit of Banque du Liban (Central Bank of Lebanon) to Finance Minister Youssef Khalil. This long-awaited document should have been submitted on September 27, 2022, as per the official agreement with the company.

The delay was primarily due to challenges encountered in gathering information and sifting through a mountain of documents related to the central bank's operations.

According to the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International (LBCI), Alvarez & Marsal handed over the preliminary report to Minister Khalil about a week ago. It is currently being studied in preparation for submission to the Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers. The preliminary examination will enable acting Prime Minister Najib Mikati and the other ministers to peruse the document.

The report will also be forwarded to Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri and to the primary concerned party—Riad Salameh, the Governor of Banque du Liban.

Sources familiar with the Alvarez & Marsal report have disclosed that it comprises over 300 pages and includes a substantial amount of documents. The executive summary, as required by the forensic audit process, points to several regulatory violations committed by the Governor, which potentially carry criminal implications.

More than thirty pages of the report are dedicated to the case of the company Forry, where Salameh and his brother Raja face charges for their transgressions in both Lebanese and European courts.

Observers suggest that the government may seek further clarification from Alvarez & Marsal on certain aspects of the forensic audit, particularly concerning what the report identifies as the Governor's infractions, especially in maintaining financial accounts and issues related to Forry.

When will this report be made accessible to the Lebanese public remains a pertinent question that is yet to be answered.
 

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