For The Record - The IPT Blog
“Treasury Gets Innovative Targeting Hizballah Money”
by IPT News Apr 24, 2013 at 3:11 pm
SNIPPET: “”Hizballah is operating like a major drug cartel, and we’re going to actively investigate them as such with all our law enforcement partners acting as one team,” Drug Enforcement Administration Special Operations Special Agent Derek Maltz told reporters Tuesday. “This is another of many clear links between global drug trafficking and terrorism. Drugs and terrorism coexist across the globe in a marriage of mutual convenience. As state-sponsored terrorism has declined, these dangerous organizations have looked far and wide for resources and revenue to recruit, to corrupt, to train, and to strengthen their regime.”
Hizballah increasingly has turned to criminal enterprises for money because Iran cannot provide the same financial support it used to, said David Cohen, Treasury’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. The money funds global terror operations, he said, referring to a suspected Hizballah bombing of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria last summer, and its ongoing support for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s crumbling regime.
Hizballah “has long sought access to the international financial system in order to move its terrorist funds and to launder the profits from its involvement in illegal activity,” Cohen said. “Make no mistake, [Hizballah] is both a full-fledged terrorist organization, lavishly funded over the years by Iran, and an enterprise that increasingly turns to crime to finance itself as the economic pressure on Iran mounts and Iran’s financial situation becomes more tenuous.””
For The Record - The IPT Blog
“Lebanese Canadian Bank to Pay $102 Million in Hizballah Laundering Case”
by Abha Shankar Jun 27, 2013 at 6:56 pm
SNIPPET: “The Beirut-based Lebanese Canadian Bank (”LCB”) will pay $102 million as part of a settlement reached this week with federal prosecutors. The LCB was accused in a December 2011 complaint of funneling money to the Lebanese terrorist group Hizballah as part of a global money-laundering scheme.
The “settlement shows that banks laundering money for terrorists and narco-traffickers will face consequences for their actions, wherever they may be located. This type of money laundering network fuels the operations of both terrorists and drug traffickers, and will continue to use every resource at our disposal to sever the connection between terrorists, narco-traffickers, and those who fund their lethal agenda,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a Justice Department press release.
Lebanese financial institutions tied to Hizballah wired over $300 million from Lebanon into the United States to buy and ship used cars to West Africa as part of a money laundering scheme, the complaint alleged. Profits from the car sales and narcotics were then funneled back to Lebanon through money laundering channels controlled by Hizballah, including LCB and two Lebanese exchange houses the Hassan Ayash Exchange Company and Ellissa Holding as well as their subsidiaries and affiliates. The lawsuit sought $480 million in civil money laundering penalties from the Lebanese financial entities.
The Treasury Department identified LCB as a “primary money laundering concern” in February 2011 and prohibited American financial institutions from doing business with the bank. The bank allegedly laundered as much as $200 million per month in drug proceeds for a Hizballah-tied international drug ring led by Lebanese drug lord Ayman Joumaa. Joumaa was indicted in November 2011 on charges of transporting 100 tons of Columbian cocaine to the Los Zetas Mexican drug cartel.”