Moroccan authorities arrested Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist member for identity theft
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Moroccan police on Wednesday arrested a Lebanese member of the US-designated terrorist organization Hezbollah for alleged identity theft and fraud, Morocco World News reported.
The General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) said in a statement that the National Brigade of Judicial Police “conducted the arrest in Casablanca after the General Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (DGST) provided detailed information on the suspect’s whereabouts,” the report said.
The 57-year-old suspect manufactured a false identity, claiming he was the manager of a foreign firm, and used false French and Portuguese passports.
The “Moroccan security services found that the passports have been reported as stolen in the database of the International Criminal Police Organization,” the English-language news website said.
The suspect will remain in police custody until the Moroccan authorities complete a full investigation, it said.
The alleged Hezbollah member “used fraudulent methods to demand sums of money from his victims, the report said.
In addition to the passports, the Moroccan police seized driving licenses that contained the names of French, Portuguese and Italian citizens. Hezbollah operatives in Europe frequently falsify documents.
In 2012, Hezbollah members who blew up an Israeli tour bus in Burgas, Bulgaria, used fake documents. Five Israelis and their Bulgarian Muslim bus driver died in the terrorist attack.
Bulgarian authorities implicated Meliad Farah and Hassan El Hajj Hassan as suspects in the bombing. Last September, they were convicted of the terrorist attack in absentia and are believed to be living in Lebanon.
The two men entered Bulgaria the month before the July 2012 attack using fake ID documents, prosecutors said.
Morocco severed ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran in 2018 over Tehran and Hezbollah support for the Polisario independence movement in Western Sahara. Morocco exercises control over Western Sahara. The US recognized last year that Western Sahara is part of Morocco.
“Hezbollah sent military officials to Polisario and provided the front with… weapons and trained them on urban warfare,” Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said when his country evicted Iran’s ambassador from Rabat.