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Friday, January 27, 2023

Up to $10 Million Reward Offer for Information on Hizballah’s Financial Networks

The U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice (RFJ) program, which is administered by the Diplomatic Security Service, has a standing reward offer of up to $10 million for information leading to the disruption of the financial mechanisms of the global terrorist organization Lebanese Hizballah.

In that reward offer, RFJ is seeking information on the activities, networks, and associates of Hizballah that form a part of its financial support, which includes financiers and facilitators like Muhammad Qasir, Muhammad Qasim al-Bazzal, and Ali Qasir, the individuals the Department highlights today.

Muhammad Qasir is a critical link between Hizballah and its primary funder, Iran. He has been a significant conduit for financial disbursements from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Qods Force (IRGC-QF) to Hizballah. Qasir and other Hizballah officials oversee several front companies to hide the IRGC-QF’s role in selling crude oil, condensate, and gas oil, thus evading U.S. sanctions related to the IRGC. Qasir also directs the Hizballah unit that assists in the transfer of weapons, technology and other support from Syria to Lebanon.

Muhammad Qasim al-Bazzal is a key financier for Hizballah and the IRGC-QF. He also is a co-founder of the Syria-based Talaqi Group and oversees other terrorist financing enterprises, such as Hokoul S.A.L. Offshore and Nagham Al Hayat. Since late 2018, al-Bazzal has used the Talaqi Group and his other companies to finance, coordinate and obscure various illicit IRGC-QF-linked oil shipments. Al-Bazzal also has overseen Talaqi Group’s partnership with Lebanon-based ALUMIX for aluminum shipments to Iran.

Ali Qasir is the managing director of the Hizballah-linked front company Talaqi Group. Ali Qasir assigns maritime vessels to deliver shipments for the terrorist network based on the IRGC-QF’s guidance. Ali Qasir has overseen sales price negotiations and collaborated to cover expenses and to facilitate an Iranian oil shipment by the Adrian Darya 1 for the benefit of the IRGC-QF. Ali Qasir represents the Lebanon-based Hokoul company in negotiations over its supply of Iranian crude to Syria. Additionally, Ali Qasir has worked with others to use the Talaqi Group to facilitate the sale of tens of millions of dollars’ worth of steel.

All three individuals have previously been designated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury as Specially Designated Global Terrorists. As a result of these designations, U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with these individuals, and property and interests in property they have subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked.

Read more at State Department

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