The US embassy in Lebanon has denied media reports about Washington’s intention to impose sanctions on Lebanese Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh.
“We have seen reports about possible sanctions on Riad Salameh. They are untrue,” Xinhua news agency quoted embassy spokesperson Casey Bonfield as saying in a statement issued on Friday.
The development came a day after a Bloomberg News report said that the US was considering sanctions against Salameh as part of an investigation into alleged embezzlement of public funds.
In a statement also released on Friday, the Central Bank said the Salameh will file a series of lawsuits inside and outside Lebanon against Bloomberg News and “all those who stand behind them over crimes of fabricating news, insulting and attempting to discredit the Governor”.
Earlier this year, Salameh was accused of having transferred millions of dollars abroad along with his brother and an assistant.
Lebanese Justice Minister Marie-Claude Najm received a request from Swiss judicial authorities to cooperate on an inquiry into money transfers by Salameh.
The Governor has rejected these accusations.
The Central Bank has come under heavy criticism due to a shortage in US dollars given the economic slowdown and the drop in cash injections from Lebanese abroad, reducing its foreign currency reserves.