U.S. blacklists Hezbollah financier’s sanctions-evasions network

U.S. blacklists Hezbollah financier’s sanctions-evasions network

The United States has blacklisted five people and two companies accused of aiding a U.S.-designated financier of Hezbollah with sanctions evasion, the Biden administration said as the Iran-backed militia continues to attack Israel, risking further destabilization of the region.

The Treasury and State Department announced the sanctions Thursday in an effort to further financially isolate Hassan Moukalled, who was blacklisted in January 2023 along with his money service business, CTEX Exchange, and two of his sons, Rayyan Moukalled, 30, and Rani Moukalled, 25.

The Biden administration said the 57-year-old Lebanese national plays a “key role” in enabling Hezbollah’s exploitation of his native country.

Those sanctioned Thursday include Andriyah Samir Mushantaf, 58, and Bashir Ibrahim Mansur, 44, who founded CTEX along with Moukalled.

Moukalled’s 33-year-old son, Firas Hasan Moukalled, was also hit as was the younger Moukalled’s company, Teleport Company SAL. Firas Hasan Moukalled jointly owns Teleport with Mushantaf and Rayyan Hassan Moukalled.

Mazen Hassan al-Zein, a 49-year-old United Arab Emirates-based business consultant for Moukalled, was sanctioned as was his The Crystal Group.

Finally, Adnan Mahmoud Youssef, a 67-year-old CTEX Exchange employee, was sanctioned on accusations of attempting to court investors to set up companies in the UAE for Moukalled.

“Hezbollah continues to rely on seemingly legitimate business investments and key facilitators to generate revenue for the group’s operations, including its destabilizing attacks across Israel’s northern border,” Under Secretary Brian Nelson for the Treasury’s terrorism and financial department said in a statement.

“The United States remains focused on relentlessly pursuing Hizballah’s key revenue sources and constraining its ability to further destabilize the region.”

The sanctions were imposed as the war between Israel and Hamas, another Iran-backed militia, nears seven months.

Embolden by the war, Hezbollah has been attacking Israel across the border from Lebanon and Syria, raising fears that the conflict may spread and risk further destabilizing the region.

“The United States remains committed to deterring and disrupting terrorist financing and identifying its enablers,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement.

“Today’s action is another reminder that there are consequences for enablers of terrorist groups who facilitate sanctions evasion through businesses posing as legitimate investments.”

Source » msn