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Tuesday, October 26, 2021
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Treasury Sanctions International Financial Networks Supporting Terrorism

Hizballah, with the support of the IRGC-QF, uses the revenues generated by these networks to fund terrorist activities, as well as to perpetuate instability in Lebanon and throughout the region.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is designating members of a network of Lebanon- and Kuwait-based financial conduits that fund Hizballah.  Additionally, OFAC is designating members of an international network of financial facilitators and front companies that operate in support of Hizballah and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF).  Together, these networks have laundered tens of millions of dollars through regional financial systems and conducted currency exchange operations and trades in gold and electronics for the benefit of both Hizballah and the IRGC-QF.  Hizballah, with the support of the IRGC-QF, uses the revenues generated by these networks to fund terrorist activities, as well as to perpetuate instability in Lebanon and throughout the region.

“Hizballah and the IRGC-QF continue to exploit the international financial system to finance acts of terrorism,” said Office of Foreign Assets Control Director Andrea M. Gacki.  “The United States will not hesitate to take action to disrupt networks that provide financial support to Hizballah and IRGC-QF.”

Today’s action is being taken pursuant to the counterterrorism authority Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended.  Hizballah was designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 on October 31, 2001.  The IRGC-QF was designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, in 2007 for supporting numerous terrorist groups.

Hizballah’s Financiers in Kuwait and Lebanon

Today’s actions underscore the direct ties between Hizballah’s global financial network and terrorist activities.  Hizballah continues to exploit the legitimate commercial sector for financial and material support, which enables the group to carry out acts of terrorism and degrade Lebanon’s political institutions.  The designations of the individuals and entities described below demonstrate Treasury’s ongoing efforts to target Hizballah and the essential support provided to it by Iran’s IRGC-QF.

Hasib Muhammad Hadwan, also known as Hajj Zayn, is a senior official in Hizballah’s General Secretariat.  He is subordinate to Hizballah’s Secretary General, Hassan Nasrallah, and is responsible for raising funds from donors and businessmen outside Lebanon.  OFAC designated Hassan Nasrallah on May 16, 2018, pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, as the leader of Hizballah.  Ali al-Sha’ir is Hadwan’s office manager and has been accepting financial contributions on behalf of Hizballah since 2000.

Hasib Muhammad Hadwan is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Hizballah.  Ali al-Sha’ir is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Hizballah.

Talib Husayn ‘Ali Jarak Ismai’l coordinated the transfer of millions of dollars to Hizballah from Kuwait through Jamal Husayn ‘Abd ‘Ali ‘Abd-al-Rahim al-Shatti.  Talib Husayn ‘Ali Jarak Ismai’l also travelled to Lebanon to meet with Hizballah officials to donate money to the group.

Both Talib Husayn ‘Ali Jarak Ismai’l and Jamal Husayn ‘Abd ‘Ali ‘Abd-al-Rahim al-Shatti are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Hizballah.

Hizballah and IRGC-QF Currency Exchange, Gold, and Electronics Sales Network

IRGC-QF and Hizballah financial facilitators Meghdad Amini and Ali Qasir helm a network of nearly 20 individuals and front companies, located in multiple countries and jurisdictions, that facilitates the movement and sale of tens of millions of dollars’ worth of gold, electronics, and foreign currency in support of Hizballah and the IRGC-QF.  Amini was designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 in May 2018 for his role in helping the IRGC-QF transfer cash out of Iran to the UAE for conversion into U.S. dollars.  Qasir was previously designated in September 2019 pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for acting for or on behalf of IRGC-QF official Rostam Ghasemi, who oversaw a vast network involved in oil sales on behalf of the IRGC-QF.  Qasir, a Hizballah financial facilitator, works with Hizballah officials to manage the group’s bank accounts in Iran and collaborates with IRGC-QF officials to manage financial transactions in the interest of both Hizballah and the IRGC-QF.  He has helped transfer hundreds of millions of dollars for the benefit of Hizballah and Iran.  Qasir continued to work with Ghasemi to arrange the sale of Iranian oil to foreign customers in order to generate revenue for the IRGC-QF and Hizballah following the pair’s 2019 designations.

Qasir is being designated today pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Hizballah.

Amini and Qasir are aided in their efforts by a team of trusted subordinates.  Omid YazdanparastMohammad Ali Damirchilu, and Samaneh Damirchilu facilitate the smuggling of gold and currency from Iran to Turkey via commercial flights operated by U.S.-designated Iranian airline Mahan Air.  Mohammad Reza Kazemi facilitates the gold sales in Turkey.  Once gold is sold, the proceeds are returned to Iran through the same process, whereupon they are transferred to Amini and Qasir.  Samaneh Damirchilu has also worked with Qasir to facilitate the sale of Iranian oil to foreign buyers.

Yazdanparast and Samaneh Damirchilu are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Ali Qasir.  Mohammad Reza Kazemi is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Meghdad Amini.  Mohammad Ali Damirchilu is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Ali Qasir.

Mostafa Puriya and Hossein Asadollah sell electronics on behalf of this network in the UAE through the Dubai-based company Hemera Infotech FZCO.  Puriya and Asadollah are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Meghdad Amini.  Hemera Infotech FZCO is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Hossein Asadollah.

China-based businessman Morteza Minaye Hashemi has used his access to the international financial system to launder vast sums of money for the IRGC-QF and Hizballah.  In coordination with Mohammad Reza Kazemi, Hashemi has laundered tens of millions of dollars for the IRGC-QF and Hizballah through foreign currency conversions and gold sales.  Hashemi has also been involved in financial transfers associated with Mohammadreza Khedmati, another IRGC-QF financial facilitator designated in May 2018 alongside Amini for providing support to the IRGC-QF.

Hashemi is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, the IRGC-QF and Hizballah.

Hashemi controls multiple companies based out of Hong Kong and mainland China.  Hashemi is aided by People’s Republic of China nationals Yan Su Xuan and Song Jing who, at the direction of Hashemi, have helped him establish bank accounts and serve as straw owners for his companies. Yan Su Xuan, on Hashemi’s behalf, has also purchased U.S.-origin, dual-use products for onward shipment to Iran.

PCA Xiang Gang LimitedDamineh Optic LimitedChina 49 Group Co.LimitedTaiwan Be Charm Trading Co.Limited, and Black Drop Intl Co., Limited are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Hashemi.

Victory Somo Group (HK) Limited and Yummy Be Charm Trading (HK) Limited are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Song Jing.  Hashemi maintains significant oversight over the funds and administration of these two companies.

Sanctions Implications

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the individuals and entities named above, and any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by them, individually, or with other blocked persons, that are in the United States or in control of a U.S. person must be blocked and reported to OFAC.  Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC or otherwise exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within the United States (including transactions transiting the United States) that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons.

Furthermore, engaging in certain transactions with the persons designated today entails risk of secondary sanctions pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended.  Several individuals being designated today are subject to the Hizballah Financial Sanctions Regulations, which implement the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015, as amended by the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act of 2018.  Pursuant to these authorities, OFAC can prohibit or impose strict conditions on the opening or maintaining in the United States of a correspondent account or a payable-through account by a foreign financial institution that either knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant transaction on behalf of a Specially Designated Global Terrorist or, among other things, knowingly facilitates a significant transaction for Hizballah or certain persons designated for their connection to Hizballah.

For information concerning the process for seeking removal from an OFAC list, including the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List), please refer to OFAC’s Frequently Asked Question 897 at https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/faqs/897.  Additional information regarding sanctions programs administered by OFAC can be found at https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/sanctions-programs-and-country-information.

View identifying information on the individuals and entities designated today.

Read more at the Treasury Department

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