The US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed sanctions Tuesday against seven Lebanese nationals associated with Hezbollah and its financial arm, Al-Qard al-Hassan (AQAH). Hezbollah and AQAH were designated as Specially Designated Global Terrorists in 2001 and 2007, respectively.
Andrea Gacki, Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, said, “from the highest levels of Hezbollah’s financial apparatus to working level individuals, Hizballah continues to abuse the Lebanese financial sector and drain Lebanon’s financial resources at an already dire time.” She further added, “such actions demonstrate Hezbollah’s disregard for financial stability, transparency, or accountability in Lebanon.”
The department described Ibrahim Ali Daher as the Chief of Hezbollah’s Central Finance Unit, which oversees the worldwide income and expenditure of Hizballah. It accused Daher of acting on behalf of Hezbollah and designated him as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.
Further, the department also accused Ahmad Mahomed Yazbeck, Abbas Hassan Gharib, Wahid Mahmud Subayti, Mostafa Habib Harb, Ezzat Youssef Akar, and Hasan Chehadeh Othman of acting on behalf of AQAH and designated them as Specially Designated Global Terrorists. The department alleged that they participated in evasive shadow banking activities. Despite the sanctions against AQAH, they held joint bank accounts in Lebanese banks and illegally transferred more than $500 million on its behalf.
As a consequence of the sanctions, the Office of Foreign Assets Control will seize any US-based assets of the sanctioned individuals and prohibit all US citizens from dealing with them.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Hezbollah a “threat” and requested governments across the world to take stringent actions against the group to “restrict its activities and disrupt its facilitation networks.”