23 August 2020
Recently reports have been published linking FBME Bank Ltd to the owner of the MV Rhosus, following the recent tragic explosion of the cargo of that ship in Beirut, which has cost many lives and destroyed many homes and businesses.
Our hearts go out to the families and victims of this terrible tragedy.
We do not wish to be wrongly linked with this terrible catastrophe and therefore wish to make clear the following:
Neither FBME, the Saab family, nor their associates, had any involvement with the MV Rhosus. FBME Bank did provide, in circa 2011- 2012, a loan to SeaForce Marine Ltd, owned by Mr Charalambos Manoli, for the purchase of another vessel, the MV Sakhalin. This loan was accordingly secured against the MV Sakhalin, which has since been scrapped. Neither Mr Manoli nor SeaForce Marine Ltd made any repayments towards the loan, and the Bank initiated legal proceedings against them. The MV Rhosus was never collateral for the loan and FBME Bank never had any involvement either with its financing or ownership.
Since the Administrators took over the Bank in July 2014, we are unaware of the current status of this case.
We believe that these allegations are commercially motivated and confirm that we have no relationship with Hezbollah nor have ever had relationships in the past.
One of the reporters on these misleading reports is a journalist who we believe has a commercial axe to grind against the shareholders of FBME, and who misses no opportunity to try and link FBME to any wrongdoing discovered anywhere in the world, as evidenced in this and many other false reports regarding the Bank.
We believe that this same journalist has access to more pertinent information regarding this tragedy, involving other banks in Cyprus and abroad, which may be directly involved in the financing of the MV Rhosus. The journalist chose however not to investigate those other banks, and to instead focus on FBME, which has absolutely no connection to the MV Rhosus, its cargo, or any of its journeys.