The United States designated a financial network, spearheaded by Lebanese money exchanger Hassan Moukalled, that facilitates financial activities for Hezbollah. Moukalled has presented himself as an advocate for Lebanon’s economic prosperity but instead has been helping Hezbollah and himself to profit from Lebanon’s economic crisis.
“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,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson.
In addition to Moukalled, the Department of the Treasury designated CTEX Exchange, an entity established by Moukalled in coordination with Hezbollah to exploit the increased demand for currency exchange services in Lebanon and to benefit Hizballah. CTEX provided U.S. dollars to Hezbollah institutions and recruited money changers loyal to Hezbollah. Hassan Moukalled advocated for CTEX directly to the central bank governor and received commissions from customers in the hundreds of thousands of dollars daily.
Hassan Moukalled’s older son, Rayyan Moukalled, worked in 2021 with Hezbollah official Muhammad Qasim al-Bazzal on issues related to finance. As of mid-2022, Rani Moukalled and his brother Rayyan Moukalled were among several individuals authorized by their father to engage in cash transactions on behalf of CTEX with the Central Bank of Lebanon.
Rayyan Moukalled was designated for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Hassan Moukalled, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended. Rani Moukalled was designated for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, CTEX. His property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended.
“Despite [Hassan] Moukalled’s attempts to maintain a facade as a financial expert and economist, he is in fact an opportunistic businessman exploiting Lebanon’s suffering population to financially support the Hezbollah terrorist organization, and even help it secure weapons,” declared State Department spokesperson Ned Price. These designations are another warning to those who provide support to terrorist groups that the United States will continue to pursue accountability for these actions.