Alvarez & Marsal just completed its first preliminary forensic audit of the Lebanese Central Bank. The audit company was supposed to deliver its initial audit report in September 2022, but difficulties in collecting information and reviewing Central Bank documents delayed the delivery by 8 months.
The report is 331 pages long and divided into 14 sections. Even though this is still a preliminary report, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest irregular accounting practices, governance failures, payment of illegal commissions and the active absenteeism of the BDDL Central Council, with Salameh acting as the key decision maker.
To list few:
– The report could not find any explanation on book entries related to payments made o Forry Associates Ltd.
– Transfers amounting to 98.9 million dollars were made over the past years to Swiss bank accounts under Riad Salameh’s name.
– Almost 48 billion dollars were depleted between 2010 and 2021, with over 23 billion dollars wasted on the Energy Ministry & Lebanon Electricity.
– BDL had a foreign currency surplus of 7 billion dollars in 2015 vs a shortage of 50 billion dollars in 2020.