Lebanon is a Middle Eastern country bordered by Syria and Israel. Once known as the “Switzerland of the East” because of its calm, prosperity, and strong tourism and banking industries, the lengthy Lebanese Civil War from 1975 to 1990 did considerable long-term damage to the economy, infrastructure, and international goodwill. However the tightly regulated banking system was one of the few in the developed world to weather the global financial crisis of the 21st century with no ill effects. In 2009, for instance, Lebanon's tourism industry was more prosperous than it had ever been, and the country experienced 9 percent economic growth despite a worldwide recession.

The same banking laws that insulated Lebanon from the recession have made the country an attractive haven for money launderers, ...

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