Canada imposes new sanctions against Lebanese nationals

News release

August 10, 2023 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Following the third anniversary of the explosion at the Port of Beirut, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that Canada is imposing sanctions under the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law) in coordination with the United Kingdom and the United States.

These sanctions will add 3 Lebanese nationals to the Schedule of the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Regulations. These individuals are being listed for their involvement in acts of significant corruption, including the misappropriation of public assets for personal gain and the transfer of the proceeds of corruption to foreign states. Acts such as these are prime examples of the high-level corruption that has contributed to Lebanon’s ongoing economic crisis.

The names of the individuals sanctioned are:

  • Riad Toufic Salameh
  • Raja Salameh
  • Marianne Hoayek

These measures impose a dealings prohibition that will effectively freeze any assets the 3 individuals may hold in Canada, prohibit persons in Canada and Canadians outside Canada from making available property to them and render them inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Today’s sanctions demonstrate that Canada will not tolerate impunity for these corrupt acts. Canada will also continue to advocate in support of the legitimate demands of the Lebanese people by calling on Lebanese parliamentarians to elect a President without delay and to form a government committed to implementing the reforms necessary to combat corruption and resolve the ongoing economic crisis in Lebanon.


“Canada stands with the people of Lebanon, who continue to bear the brunt of the current political and economic crisis. Today’s sanctions send a clear message that Canada will not tolerate the acts of significant corruption that have contributed to Lebanon’s economic collapse.”

- Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • Lebanon is trapped in a protracted political and economic crisis: more than 80% of the population now lives in multidimensional poverty, unemployment has reached well over 30% and its currency has lost more than 98% of its value since 2019.

  • Domestic and international efforts to hold corrupt officials to account and encourage economic and financial sector reform are a necessary first step toward restoring the credibility of the Lebanese financial sector and charting a way forward from the present crisis.

  • To date, there have been 70 individuals listed under the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Regulations. Canada will continue using this tool, among other diplomatic means, to combat the impunity of those responsible for committing gross violations of human rights and acts of significant corruption, regardless of where they take place.

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Emily Williams 
Director of Communications 
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs 

Media Relations Office 
Global Affairs Canada 
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