Skip to main content

Riad Salameh, Lebanon's ex-central bank chief, hit with US sanctions

In addition to Riad Salameh, the Treasury Department imposed sanctions on his family members and assistant.
Riad Salameh

WASHINGTON — The US Treasury Department on Thursday announced sanctions on Riad Salameh, accusing Lebanon’s former central bank governor of abusing his position to enrich himself and his inner circle while the country’s economy melted down.

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said Salameh, 73, funneled “hundreds of millions of dollars through layered shell companies to invest in European real estate” with the help of his close family members and associates. 

Brian Nelson, Treasury’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said Salameh conducted a range of self-enrichment schemes while managing Lebanon’s central bank, Banque du Liban. 

“In apparent contravention of Lebanese law, Salameh contributed to Lebanon’s endemic corruption and perpetuated the perception that elites in Lebanon need not abide by the same rules that apply to all Lebanese people,” Nelson said in a statement. 

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.