"And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness, the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us. But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jail is safe from another thief. "

Khalil Gibran (How I Became a Madman)

Lübnan Marunîleri / Yasin Atlıoğlu


Tuesday, January 24, 2023

US sanctions Hezbollah financial adviser in Lebanon - Al-Monitor

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Tuesday designated a Lebanon-based network accused of facilitating financial activities for Hezbollah and helping the militant group profit from the country’s economic meltdown.

The man at the center of the network is Hassan Moukalled, a Lebanese money exchanger and economist who the US Treasury Department said “plays a key role in enabling Hezbollah to continue to exploit and exacerbate Lebanon’s economic crisis.”

In a statement, the Treasury said Moukalled works closely with the previously sanctioned Hezbollah finance official Muhammad Qasir, including on business deals involving Russia and in obtaining weapons for Iran-backed Hezbollah. He also played an intermediary role in negotiations between the country’s Central Bank and Hezbollah in 2016.

The department also blacklisted Moukalled’s Beirut-based money-services business, CTEX Exchange, which it said functions as a financial front company for Hezbollah. 

“As Lebanon and its economy faced a dire and ongoing financial crisis in mid-2022, Hassan Moukalled was working with Hezbollah officials to capitalize on investors’ and expatriates’ efforts to make money in the Lebanese financial sector and transfer cash out of Lebanon,” Treasury said in a statement. 

The Treasury further designated Moukalled’s sons Rayyan Moukalled and Rani Moukalled, who are accused of helping enable his financial activities, and two additional companies that are owned or controlled by Moukalled.  

“As corruption undermines economic growth and the ability of individuals to provide for their families, the United States is committed to holding accountable those who exploit their privileged positions for personal gain,” Brian Nelson, the Treasury's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement.