Action against money laundering freezes EUR 120 million worth of Lebanese assets, seizing bank accounts
Authorities from France, Germany and Luxemburg carried out extensive measures to freeze EUR 120 million worth of assets linked to the investigation of a money laundering case in Lebanon, during an action day on 25 March. Five properties in Germany and France were seized as well as several bank accounts. Eurojust supported the judicial cooperation by setting up a joint investigation team (JIT) and organising three coordination meetings.
The main investigation is directed against five suspects accused of money laundering. They are suspected of embezzling public funds in Lebanon for amounts of more than USD 330 million and EUR 5 million, respectively, between 2002 and 2021.
During the action day, judicial authorities in Germany seized three properties (one in Hamburg and two in Munich). Shares in a property company based in Düsseldorf were also secured. In addition to the properties, the current value of which is estimated at around EUR 28 million, further assets of around EUR 7 million were seized throughout Germany.
In France, authorities seized two property complexes in Paris with a combined value of EUR 16 million, as well as several bank accounts in France (EUR 2.2 million) and Monaco (EUR 46 million), and a building in Brussels worth EUR 7 million.
In Luxembourg, approximately 11 million EUR were seized across several bank accounts.
Despite the outcome of the action day, the suspects in the main investigation are assumed to be innocent until they have been proven guilty, according to law.
Eurojust supported the judicial cooperation by setting up a JIT into the case and organising three coordination meetings between the authorities involved. The Agency also provided in-depth analytical support to the investigation.
The following authorities took part in this investigation:
- France: Investigative judges of Court of Paris (Tribunal judiciaire de Paris); Investigators of OCRGDF (Central Office against serious financial criminality).
- Germany: Public Prosecutors Office Munich I; Federal Criminal Police Office.
- Luxemburg: Investigative judge; anti-money laundering unit of the judicial police.