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Lebanon's anti-money laundering watchdog lifted banking secrecy in 30 cases last year out of 489 cases it investigated.The Special Investigation Commission, the country's financial intelligence unit, said in its 2018 report released Monday that the authorities examined all the cases thoroughly before taking action against some of them.The ISF sought the SIC assistance in order to identify related accounts and transactions in Lebanon and abroad since preliminary investigations revealed that the suspects had traveled across several countries.Based on these investigations, the SIC decided to freeze the identified bank accounts in Lebanon, and sent all the findings including information obtained from counterpart financial intelligence units to the general prosecutor, who later forwarded the case for prosecution on terrorism financing charges.In another case, the SIC received a request for assistance from Lebanon's general prosecutor concerning a Mutual Legal Assistance case originating from a foreign judicial authority. The report also revealed another case investigated by the SIC of several Lebanese and foreign nationals accused of drug trafficking.The SIC also requested all money remittance companies refrain from executing transactions for the suspects.
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