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Lebanese authorities arrest currency speculators

Beirut, Feb 5 (Prensa Latina) Around 12 people were arrested in Lebanon on charges of speculating with the national currency and causing its collapse against the US dollar, the Information Division of the Internal Security Forces reported.

In light of the deteriorating living conditions, the General Prosecutor of Cassation, Ghassan Oweidat, asked Judge Ali Ibrahim to issue referrals to all members of the judicial police to carry out preliminary investigations and operations to arrest the money changers.

The Information Division made the arrests in several Lebanese regions due to the manipulation of the rate of the Lebanese pound against the dollar in the informal market, after local media published the names and photos of the speculators in WhatsApp groups.

For economists, the change in the rate of the national currency is far from the economic reality of the value of the supply and demand of the dollar on the street, since the official exchange platform Sayrafa increased the change to 42,000, while the informal price exceeded days ago the 63 thousand pounds per dollar.

Experts agreed that the money supply in February will rise significantly, with an increase in inflation, a loss of purchasing power of the Lebanese pound and a definitive rise in the dollar exchange rate.

Figures from the World Bank indicated that Lebanon ranked second globally in food price inflation in 2022 and reports from United Nations entities placed 80 percent of the population below poverty line.


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