The US is imposing new sanctions on Hezbollah’s financing network

The U.S. government on Wednesday, in consultation with Qatar, imposed sanctions on seven people and an organization for their alleged relationship with the Lebanese Hezbollah movement’s financial apparatus, including a Spanish citizen linked to a Qatari real estate firm.

The US regards Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, which is why it punishes any relationship with the party militia. The names of Ali Reda al Qassabi Lari and the brothers Ali Reda Hassan al Banai and Abd al Muayyid al Banai have been blacklisted on charges of having diverted “tens of millions of dollars”.

The US is imposing new sanctions on Hezbollah’s financing network
The US is imposing new sanctions on Hezbollah’s financing network

Lari and Ali al Banai are traced back by US authorities to constant meetings with Hezbollah members while traveling to Lebanon and Iran, as part of a multi-million dollar collaboration that would have been developed through the financial system and cash transfers. The Al Banai brothers had several bank accounts and the last known transfers were made in late 2020.

Washington has also followed in the footsteps of Sulaiman al Banai, a relative of the above individuals who the US Treasury Department identifies as a citizen born in 1976 with both Qatari and Spanish citizenship. The US authorities identify him as a key manager in family businesses.

In fact, the Treasury Department also points to a company controlled by Sulaiman Al Banai, AlDar Properties, a Qatar-based real estate company. Both this company and the sanctioned individuals see any assets that may be under United States sovereignty frozen and their room for maneuver will be restricted in signing contracts or establishing trade or economic relationships.

The Treasury Department’s Office for the Control of Foreign Assets (OFAC) director Andrea M. Gacki has accused Hezbollah of “abusing” the international financial system to “fill its coffers and aid its terrorist activities”.

“The cross-border nature of its financial network underscores the importance of our continued cooperation with international partners such as the government of Qatar to protect the US and the international financial systems from abuse by terrorists,” he said.

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