US Treasury targets in South America for channeling money to Hizbullah

The Bush administration took action on Wednesday aimed at choking off a major South American fundraising channel for Hizbullah in the tri-border area of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.

US Treasury targets  in South America for channeling money to Hizbullah

The US Treasury Department's action targets nine people and two entities - a shopping center in Paraguay and an electronics company, Casa Hamze, located in the shopping center.

The United States alleges that the designated targets have provided financial and logistical support to Hizbullah, considered a terrorist organization by the US.

Hizbullah called the US action an "attack" on Wednesday.

"This is part of the US policy to attack the party," Hizbullah politburo member Ghaleb Abu Zeinab said.

Abu Zeinab added that "every person who does not follow the US policy is being made a victim of the US and Israeli intelligence and being implicated in such allegations."

Americans are forbidden from doing business with the designated targets, whose bank accounts or other financial assets found in the US were frozen.

Specifically, the department alleges that the designated people gave financial and other assistance to Assad Ahmad Barakat, whom the government several years ago added to its asset-blocking list for his support of Hizbullah.

"Assad Ahmad Barakat's network in the tri-border area is a major financial artery to Hizbullah in Lebanon," said Adam Szubin, director of the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control.

The department alleged that Muhammad Yusif Abdallah is a senior Hizbullah leader in the tri-border area and an important financial backer of the group.

The department says Abdallah is an owner and manager of the Galeria Page shopping center located in Paraguay, which the department also designated on Wednesday.

The department alleged that Abdallah pays a percentage of his income to Hizbullah based on the profits he receives from the shopping center.

The department also alleges that Abdallah has been involved in importing contraband electronics, falsifying passports, credit card fraud and trafficking counterfeit US dollars.

Barakat was himself targeted, with the government alleging that he is a Hizbullah member in the tri-border area.

He is further suspected of trafficking in narcotics, counterfeit US dollars, arms and explosives, the government said.

Hamzi Ahmad Barakat, who allegedly traveled to Chile to collect money for Hizbullah and is the brother of Assad Ahmad Barakat, was also named.

Others named Wednesday are: Muhammad Fayez Barakat, whom the US alleges is responsible for the Barakat network's finances; Muhammad Tarabain Chamas and Saleh Mahmoud Fayad, whom the US alleges have been involved in counterintelligence; Sobhi Mahmoud Fayad, whom the US says served as a liaison between the Iranian embassy and the Hizbullah community in the tri-border area; Ali Muhammad Kazan, who helped raise more than $500,000 for Hizbullah from Lebanese businessmen in the tri-border region, the US alleges; and Farouk Omairi, whom the US says is a member of the Hizbullah community in the tri-border area.

Source: muslimnews

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16