The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Thursday designated what it called a key Hezbollah businessman and financial facilitator, his companies and his associates under an act that targets terrorists, their leaders and other officials who provide them with support.

According to a Treasury Department news release, Ahmad Jalal Reda Abdallah—a Lebanese businessman and financial facilitator for Hezbollah—along with five of his associates and eight of his companies in Lebanon and Iraq, were designated under Executive Order 13224.

The designation will result in all property and interests in property, and all businesses owned directly, indirectly or partially by the individuals named being blocked and reported to OFAC.

All transactions between individuals in the U.S. and entities designated would also be prohibited.

“This action illuminates [Hezbollah’s] modus operandi of using the cover of seemingly legitimate businesses to generate revenue and leverage commercial investments across a multitude of sectors to secretly fund [Hezbollah] and its terrorist activities,” the release stated. “It also demonstrates how [Hezbollah] goes to great lengths to establish companies with opaque ownership structure in order to conceal their involvement in these businesses, and also their involvement in criminal activities such as altering of medication labels for black market pharmaceutical sales.”

The U.S. designated Hezbollah as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997 and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist group in 2001.

“[Hezbollah] has built a web of businesses to hide its activities and generate funds for its destabilizing activities, all at the expense of accountability and public safety in Lebanon and the region,” Undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in a statement. “The designation of this network demonstrates the U.S. government’s commitment to protect Lebanon’s private sector and financial system from [Hezbollah]’s abuse by targeting and exposing the group’s financial activities.”

“[Hezbollah] structures companies to disguise its ownership and make the companies appear legitimate,” U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement. “Through actions like those carried out today, we continue to counter [Hezbollah’s] exploitation of businesses to fund its terrorist activities and its efforts to destabilize Lebanon and the wider region.”


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