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As Lebanese Got Poorer, Politicians Stowed Wealth Abroad

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Bank customers hold up defaced posters of Riad Salameh, the governor of Lebanon's Central Bank, right, and Makram Sadir, secretary general of the Association of Banks in Lebanon, with Arabic that reads: "Stole my future," during a protest in front of the Central Bank in Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021. Dozens of Lebanese gathered outside a bank in Beirut's downtown demanding that they be allowed to withdraw their deposits that have been blocked amid Lebanon's severe financial and economic crisis. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

(AP) — A trove of leaked documents shows that for years, Lebanon’s politicians and bankers have stowed wealth in offshore tax havens and used it to buy expensive properties. It’s a galling revelation for masses of newly impoverished Lebanese, caught in one of the world’s worst economic meltdowns in decades.

Some of the newly outed holders of offshore accounts belong to same ruling elite that is being blamed for the collapse and for derailing the lives of ordinary Lebanese. Many in the tiny country have lost access to savings and now struggle to get water, electricity and medicine.

 

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