On May 11, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, designated seven individuals in connection with Hezbollah and a related financial entity, Al-Qard al-Hassan, or AQAH.
“From the highest levels of Hezbollah’s financial apparatus to working level individuals, Hezbollah continues to abuse the Lebanese financial sector and drain Lebanon’s financial resources at an already dire time,” said Director of OFAC Andrea Gacki. “Such actions demonstrate Hezbollah’s disregard for financial stability, transparency, or accountability in Lebanon.”
While AQAH purports to serve the Lebanese people, in practice it illicitly moves funds through shell accounts and facilitators, exposing Lebanese financial institutions to sanctions risk. AQAH masquerades as a non-governmental organization, while it provides services characteristic of a bank in support of Hezbollah .
By hoarding hard currency that is desperately needed by the Lebanese economy, AQAH helps Hezbollah build its own support base and compromise the stability of the Lebanese state. Six of the individuals OFAC designated used the cover of personal accounts at certain Lebanese banks, including U.S.-designated Jammal Trust Bank, to evade sanctions targeting AQAH and transfer approximately 500 million U.S. dollars on behalf of AQAH.
OFAC also designated Ibrahim Ali Daher who serves as the Chief of Hezbollah’s Central Finance Unit. This unit oversees and manages Hezbollah’s budget and spending, including the group’s funding of units and operations that terrorize, intimidate, and kill the group’s opponents.
These designations reinforce previous U.S. actions against Hezbollah financiers who have provided support to Hezbollah. The United States will continue to take action to disrupt Hezbollah’s operations.