Oilman Sirven not in Lebanon, at least ''not under real name''
The fugitive former number two at French oil giant Elf Aquitaine is not in Lebanon, at least "not under his real name," the country's general security chief said in remarks published Friday, responding to news reports.
"As far as we know, Alfred Sirven has not entered Lebanon, at least not under his real name," General Jamil Sayyed, whose agency controls the country's borders, told the French-language daily L'Orient Le-Jour.
Sayyed said "instructions have been given to keep close watch on Lebanese ports and the Beirut airport."
On Wednesday, the French newspaper Le Parisien said French police were working on information that Sirven had left the Philippines, where he had reportedly been hiding, to Lebanon.
Sirven, 73, had been on the run since from French justice since 1997 after allegedly embezzling millions of dollars from Elf and operating a slush fund to buy influence in several illicit deals.
He is wanted by four international arrest warrants.
Sirven, 73, has been widely reported as hiding in the Philippines with his Filipina girlfriend.
Four French police officers arrived in the Philippines in October in hopes of tracking him down. The fugitive had reportedly been using a passport issued in April 1998 to Robert Lapierre, a Frenchman who died of cancer four months later.—AFP.
©-Agence France Presse.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)