The US treasury has recently imposed sanctions on two of its Lebanese contractors for corruption. A lawmaker who is close to the Hezbollah movement is facing allegations over the charge of large-scale corruption, which is undermining the rule of law in Lebanon.
Businessmen Dany Khoury and Jihad-al-Arab are close to the former PM of Lebanon, Saad al-Hariri and Gebran Bassil. They Are facing sanctions on Thursday for the state contracts related to corruption.
The lawmaker Jamil Sayyed got the sanction for seeking to skirt domestic regulations and banking policy. There are allegations that he has transferred $120 million abroad to enrich himself and his associates.
The allegations are now coming amid an economic crisis in Lebanon. The nation is already facing blames for its year-long bad policy and the corruption of the ruling elite. The UN says that the situation in Lebanon has left three-quarters of its population in poverty.
Sayyed has made no direct denial to the allegation that he had skirted the banking regulation with about $20 of transfer during the crisis. Sayyed, who is an outspoken MP, is close enough to Hezbollah. He has headed the top intelligence agency of the country.
The treasure has alleged the Arab and Khoury both have received state contracts worth millions of dollars. It also includes disposal work and garbage collection purposes.
Khoury did not make any immediate response to the request for comment. Basil had denied all the allegations on him. He said Khoury is not his partner in politics or business. Khoury has won a contract of $42 million to work in a coastal landfill and is facing accusations for dumping toxic waste.
Al Arab, on the other hand, “served as an intermediary as of 2014 to broker a meeting between top Lebanese officials in advance of the Lebanese presidential election, in exchange for two government contracts valued at approximately $200 million.”
The sanctions marked the first time the US had imposed a sanction on Hariri.
“The Americans are sending a message to the entire political class, not just those backed by Iran, and also to the Lebanese people that they haven’t walked away,” Maha Yahya, director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, told.
Thursday’s Sections include concrete allegations on the money transferring of Sayyed after the revolution. In a tweet, US Secretary of State Anatomy Blinken has characterized this sanction as a very important step in the promotion of accountability in Lebanon.