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Newsline: Lebanon probing embezzlement of over $300k at its Ukraine embassy

Lebanon is investigating alleged embezzlement of over $300,000 at its Ukraine embassy, a judicial official told AFP on Monday, as sources say cash-strapped Beirut is trying to cut costs at diplomatic missions. The probe was launched after financial irregularities came to light in September, the official said, requesting anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media. Preliminary investigations showed “an estimated $318,000” had been embezzled from funds including for consular services such as “passport renewal fees,” the official said. The foreign ministry had apparently failed to notice or investigate the missing funds, according to the official. A diplomatic source confirmed to AFP that “judicial investigations are underway into a financial matter at the Ukrainian embassy.” Ambassador Ali Daher – who had been recalled to Beirut pending the completion of the probe – and one of his assistants have been questioned, the judicial official said. (https://yalibnan.com/2023/04/05/lebanon-probing-embezzlement-of-over-300k-at-ukraine-embassy/) Citing initial investigations, the official said the money had been transferred to a Ukrainian bank account belonging to the embassy employee who claimed the funds had been sent to Beirut. The assistant has returned to Lebanon but since disappeared, the official said, adding that Lebanon’s top prosecutor has issued a travel ban against the assistant and his Ukrainian wife.

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