On Tuesday, the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) blacklisted 7 Lebanese affiliated with Hezbollah and its financial institution, Al-Qard Al-Hassan (AQAH).
“AQAH, which was designated by OFAC in 2007, is used by [Hezbollah] as a cover to manage the terrorist group’s financial activities and gain access to the international financial system,” read the U.S. Treasury Department’s press release.
The newly-sanctioned individuals are (1) Ezzat Youssef Akar, (2) Ibrahim Ali Daher, (3) Abbas Hassan Gharib, (4) Mustafa Habib Harb, (5) Hasan Chehadeh Othman, (6) Wahid Mahmud Subayti, and (7) Ahmad Mohamad Yazbeck.
According to the statement, Daher is the Chief of Hezbollah‘s Central Finance Unit which oversees the organization’s budget and spending. The others used personal accounts at Lebanese banks to evade sanctions that target AQAH, facilitating the transfer of almost half a billion U.S. dollars on behalf of AQAH; also according to the statement.
The Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control Andrea Gacki accused Hezbollah of abusing the Lebanese financial sector and draining Lebanon’s financial resources “at an already dire time.”
“Such actions demonstrate [Hezbollah’s] disregard for financial stability, transparency, or accountability in Lebanon,” she added.
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