Last week the Federal government announced sanctions against several Lebanese individuals and entities on allegations that they are part of a support group for the previously-designated terrorist group Hizballah.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) named three Lebanese officials and a dozen Lebanese organizations for alleged ties to the Martyrs Foundation, which it says is a support group for Hizballah. The designated entities fall under the rubric of a single holding company, which OFAC alleges to be either owned outright or under the control of Hizballah.
The holding company is also coming under sanction for its alleged choice of banking institution. Per OFAC, the holding company banked with a banking firm that was previously designated by OFAC last fall. OFAC says the designated bank facilitated the movement of hundreds of millions of dollars in Hizballah funds, as well as actively working to screen the movement of such illicit funding from outside observers.
The designated holding company participates in many sectors of Lebanon’s economy, including fuel, pharmaceuticals, tourism, and clothing. OFAC says the firm has been linked to Hizballah since late 2017. Hizballah itself has been under sanction by the State Department for over two decades.
As a result of the sanctions, OFAC warns that Americans are generally forbidden from transacting business with the sanctioned entities, and firms both domestic and foreign risk sanctioning themselves if they continue to conduct business with the sanctioned parties.
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