After a tip-off received from a Swiss source, Lebanese financial prosecutor, judge Ali Ibrahim (photo), opened an investigation into the transfer of USD 2.5 billion by 9 personalities classified as "Politically exposed persons," which took place after Lebanon had put a ban on foreign currency transfers abroad.

Parliament convened an extraordinary session, chaired by Ibrahim Kanaan in the presence of the outgoing Finance Minister, Ali Hassan Khalil, and of the Chairman of Association of Banks in Lebanon, Sélim Sfeir. At the end of the meeting, Lebanese Central Bank Governor Riad Salamé promised he would follow up the affair with his Swiss counterpart.

In the absence of a legal basis for refusing the transfer, the Swiss banks have taken the money in. The curtailing of dollar transfers outside the country, as ordered by the Lebanese Central Bank, is illegal because the decision did not go through Parliament.

The USD 2.5 billion is separate from the 6 to 8 billion which former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora transferred in his own name just before the ban kicked in. Nevertheless, the latter is in the crosshairs of the financial prosecutor in connection with the disappearance of $ 11 billion, occurred between 2006 and 2008.