Lebanon (MNN) — Leaked documents have revealed the financial secrets of the world’s ultra-rich, including 35 current world leaders and hundreds of politicians in 91 countries.
The documents, known as the Pandora Papers, detail how these figures hid wealth in various offshore accounts. In many cases, they siphoned money away from their impoverished people.
Wissam Nasrallah with LSESD says the papers exposed many Lebanese officials. “Lebanon topped the list for the country with the most offshore companies. According to the Pandora Papers, it was 346 companies for such a small country. One that is completely bankrupt. It’s disgusting. It’s outrageous. Prime Minister Najib Mikati, his predecessor Hassan Diab, central bank governor Riad Salameh, all are putting their wealth in these offshore companies.”
Ever since Lebanon’s banking system collapsed in October 2019, Lebanon’s banks have been illegally holding people’s savings hostage. Meanwhile, the politicians continue to freely transfer money out of the country. Nasrallah says, “Between 2019 and today, more than $6 billion have been taken out of the country through wire transfer. And these obviously belong to politicians and those who are super connected.”
Hardworking citizens get left in the dust, Nasrallah says. “When you walk around Beirut today, or around Lebanon, it’s heartbreaking. There’s no electricity, no gas, no medicines. It’s a country that has completely collapsed by every measure.”
Being a light
Those governing Lebanon have no incentive to change a corrupt system they benefit from. Nasrallah says, “We’ve realized that there’s no light at the end of the tunnel for our country. We’ve also realized that we need to be the light within the tunnel. Please pray that we may be the light we’re called to be during such a time.”
Ask God to give renewed strength to LSESD’s team. They battle exhaustion and discouragement every day as the crisis continues.
The header photo shows LSESD staff giving help to refugees. (Photo courtesy of LSESD on Facebook)