Financial crimes up by 56 percent
Local embezzlement of private funds jumped by 82 percent to 100 reported cases in 2015, surging for a second consecutive year, according to the Central Bank’s Special Investigation Commission (SIC).
This category represents 65 percent of all kinds of embezzlements. Foreign embezzlement of private funds accounts for 17 percent of the total. Foreign and local embezzlements of public funds represent the remaining 12 and six percent respectively, according to SIC’s 2015 annual report. Reported cases of forgery, the trade in narcotics, organized crime, terrorism and the financing of terrorism increased at a slower rate.
A total of 432 cases of different types of crimes were reported to SIC in 2015, up 56 percent compared to 2014. The cases reported to SIC in 2015 included 101 cases received from foreign sources and 331 from local sources.
Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh who is also SIC’s Chairman said in the report that the money laundering and terrorism cases led to the freezing of bank accounts and the lifting of bank secrecy in 28 cases that were then forwarded to the General Prosecutor.
“Money laundering and terrorism financing cases have become more complex,” said Abdul Hafiz Mansour, SIC’s Secretary General. “458 spontaneous disclosures were also handled in 2015, many of which were related to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL),” he said.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
Date Posted: May 25, 2016