Lebanese leaders pinned down by “Pandora Papers”

With 346 listed companies, Pays du Cdre is one of Trident Trust’s best-selling clients who specialize in domicile in tax havens..

A section of the Lebanese political and financial elite pins themselves in the “Pandora Papers” – this collaborative investigation conducted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in partnership with 150 media outlets in 117 countries.

It is based on the leak of approximately twelve million confidential documents – the equivalent of 2.96 terabytes of information – transmitted to the ICIJ by an undisclosed source. All these documents come from the archives of fourteen firms specializing in building offshore companies in tax havens (British Virgin Islands, Dubai, Singapore, Panama and Seychelles, etc.).

Najib Mikati, Hassan Diab, Riyadh Salaam…

Many of Cedar Country’s politicians, businessmen and officials — which are currently going through the worst economic crisis in its history — are among those mentioned in the “Pandora Papers” list: people who used offshore companies registered in tax havens. Is. Among the most prestigious: the current prime minister Najib Mikati (Lebanon’s first fortune), his predecessor Hassan Diab, or Riyad Salam, the chairman of the Lebanese central bank. The latter, recalls the ICIJ, “is the subject of an investigation in France for alleged money laundering”. Former Lebanese Minister of State and Al Mawrid Bank President Marouane Khereddin is also on the list.

In an article published in the Daily on October 5, 2021 Lebanon L’Orient-le Jour These names include Mohamed Bassiri, former senior official in the fight against corruption in the BDL, former deputy and Russian affairs adviser to Lebanese President Michel Aoun, Amal Abu Zeid, chairman of the Council of Administration. Lebanese channel Al-Jadeed Tehseen of Khayat, banker Samir Hanna, or even businessman and former deputy Nimat Frame”. He also recalls that the Lebanese prime minister was already quoted in 2017 in the “Paradise Papers” – “ An investigation similar to “Pandora Papers”.

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“First place in the world with 346 offshore companies”

RFI Radio, for its part, confirms that an investigation by the “Pandora Papers” shows that Lebanon ranks “first in the world with 346 offshore companies” registered through the company Trident Trust – domiciles of offshore companies. expertise in. -, which leads to some leaked documents. “The country of Cedar is thus far ahead of the United Kingdom (151 companies) and Iraq, which ranks third with 85 offshore companies”, continues International Radio.

Remember that forming an offshore company is not illegal in itself. US agency The Associated Press It highlights, however, that the incident reinforces the notion that “the rich and powerful play according to different rules – a concept particularly overwhelming to many Lebanese”, at a time when a whole People (on) live with difficulty and suffer from setbacks. , both economically and socially. On the other hand, offshore companies can be used to evade taxes or hide illegally earned money.

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About the Author: Forrest Morton

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