You Can Get $10 Million If You Have Info On These Alleged Hezbollah Financiers

The US has reissued an appeal for information on two Lebanese businessmen based in Guinea who are accused of being financiers for Hezbollah.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced that two Lebanese businessmen, Ali Saade and Ibrahim Taher, are designated as important financiers of Hezbollah in Guinea.

The Rewards for Justice program said it is offering up to $10 million for information that “leads to the disruption of the financial mechanisms” of Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed political party and militia in Lebanon.

They are accused of conducting illicit financial activities and transferring funds to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The designations, under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, aim to disrupt the business network of Hezbollah in West Africa and their ongoing efforts to threaten the security, stability, and prosperity of Lebanon and other jurisdictions.

OFAC also stated that Hezbollah has various sources of funding, including profitable commercial activities, which it allegedly uses to sponsor acts of terrorism.

This move is part of the US Treasury’s ongoing efforts to limit Hezbollah’s global network of allies and financial supporters.

Ali Saade

Ali Saade was found to continuously transfer funds from Guinea to Hezbollah in Lebanon. He’s also closely connected with another financial supporter of Hezbollah, Kassem Tajideen, who is also designated by OFAC since 2019.

“At the time of his designation, Tajideen had contributed tens of millions of dollars to Hezbollah and ran cover companies for Hezbollah in Africa with his brothers,” OFAC said.

Tajideen had Ali Saade as his primary political contact in Guinea giving him unrestricted access to high-ranked corrupt officials in the West-African country.

Saade would have also advised Tajideen on how to make financial transfers to successfully circumvent detection by regulators.

Ibrahim Taher

OFAC identified Ibrahim Taher, an Honorary Consul of Lebanon to Cote d’Ivoire, “as one of the most prominent financial supporters of Hezbollah in Guinea.”

He reportedly used his diplomatic status to travel back and forth to Guinea with little to no scrutiny. OFAC accuses him of collecting US dollars with an associate “at one of their commercial facilities” and sending the funds to Conakry Airport” as well as bribing “Guinean customs officials to allow their currency to pass in luggage.”

In 2020, he flew with alleged Hezbollah financier Ali Saade from Guinea to Lebanon on a special flight with a significant amount of money that they claimed was supposed to support Covid-19 relief efforts in Lebanon.

“Covid-19 relief has been previously used as a cover for transferring funds from Guinea to Lebanon for Hezbollah,” the US said.

Taher was born in Jwaya, southern Lebanon, in 1963. Saade was born in Guinea in 1942.