“I work for a renowned Lebanese bank for more than four years, i realized that bank secrecy is simply a myth in Lebanon. Most employees have access to client’s account and files, where we often share info with individuals outside the bank who would like to inquire regarding the financial status of some of our clients. Of course, we never reveal amounts but we provide negative or positive sentiments always translated into letters, not numbers. We even provided police and judicial investigators with details about a client without the hassle of warrant issuance. Once, a client at the bank sold a large plot of land and cashed it out. We unofficially informed our insurance company and other private investment companies who succeeded in selling numerous policies to the old lady (even a policy for her dog)”.
“We received a special request off-the records and paid in cash for hundreds of embossed metallic sheets with ‘Made in Germany’ written on it. The retailer was using them to replace “Made in PRC” stickers on Bosch drilling tools, and we charged him 50 times the usual cost”.
” I used to work in a booth inside a mall, selling attractive packages on travel, hotels, leisure, and spa. We used to offer by-passers a winning scratch card, a way to gain their trust and initiate a conversation with them where they will provide us with their names, address, phone number and personal details. Later, we sold this data to telemarketing companies for $0.30 per name”.
“My work at a pub in Monot street consisted of serving drinks and cleaning tables with limited involvement in pouring or making cocktails. In one afternoon, my manager asked me to meet him at a parallel street from our pub, once there he was discussing with a man in front of an open trunk of an old 7 series BMW. When i looked inside it was full of boxes containing different kinds of spirits; without questions asked, i grabbed one box of Black Stoli vodka and headed back to the pub as instructed by my manager. I can still remember the other guy saying as i leave ‘try not to damage the bottles and stickers, i want them back’. We were dealing with counterfeit vodka, selling it during our happy hours and other open bar events.”
NGO Office Manager
“The fundings we receive from Lebanese donors are subject to special requests in return for these donations. Large sums are wired to personal accounts of individuals or companies linked to our organization who previously delivered services such as sub-contractors. This was clearly a sign of corruption or money-laundering. We also post fake job openings or positions that are already filled, simply to justify recruitment in our reports.”
Valet Parking Employee
“Some restaurants have limited parking spots, that’s where we agree with the restaurant owner to grant us the valet service for his own parking lot in return for a 50/50 or 60/40 cut. Everyone is a winner”.
Organic Fast Food
“I worked at a small food snack on bliss street facing AUB at a time when organic and healthy food was a rising trend. We were selling regular sandwiches containing mayonnaise, cheese, ham, tomatoes, lettuces, eggs, etc…all labeled as organic and fresh products. The place became so popular, but in reality, none of the ingredients were organic, just regular products from the market”.