Minister of State Marwan Kheireddine attends a conference in Beirut, Friday, Nov. 23, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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The branch manager of a medium-size bank has fled the country after scamming customers out of more than $13 million, the chairman of the bank confirmed Friday.The branch manager, who was identified as Saadeddine Mnaymneh, told some of the clients that Al-Mawarid Bank has a fixed income product in dollar currency with 11 percent return. The average interest rate on dollar deposits in Lebanon is 4.5 percent but some banks have offered 5-6 percent returns for any investor who deposits $1 million or more for a maturity period not exceeding 18 months. The victims were tempted by the 11-percent return and rushed to deposit their money with Mnaymneh after receiving signed receipts from the bank. Kheireddine said Al-Mawarid Bank would not run away from its responsibility and would reimburse those who truly had fallen victims to Mnaymneh, adding that the bank's deposits are insured.
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