A new massive leak of over 11.9 million confidential files to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)
has revealed much about Lebanese politicians’ entanglement in tax evasion, offshore dealings, and hefty purchases. Known as the ‘Pandora Papers,’ the leak consists of financial and legal records exposing what the ICIJ refers to as a “system enabling crime, corruption and wrongdoing, hidden by secretive offshore companies”. Here were some highlights that pertain to Lebanon: Najib Mikati
Lebanon’s richest man’s name unsurprisingly popped up in the documents, repeatedly
. He used a Panama-based shell company by the name of Hessville Investment Inc to purchase a $10 million property
in Monaco. This, of course, is but one entanglement among many. The PM and his son are also linked to various other shell companies in the British Virgin Islands. Hassan Diab
The recent Prime Minister who espoused tales of clean dealings and transparency happens to be a part-owner of the British Virgin Islands-based shell company eFuturetech Services Ltd. It clearly did not take him long to get acclimated to the corrupt dealings of the ruling class. Marwan Kheireddine
Driftwood Limited is not the name of Kheireddine’s country band, it is his British Virgin Islands-based shell company through which he makes various purchases including $2 million yachts and apartments in New York City. Riad Salame
Linked to SEVERAL offshore companies with over $100 million worth of assets, the Central Bank governor’s name was a repetitive one in this leak.
The saddest part of this entire leak is that many of us went through it and were completely unfazed by this behavior.