Three men used their tourism company to funnel funding to the Iran-backed terror group, the U.S. Treasury says.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions against three Lebanese businessmen on Tuesday, charging that the men were acting as financial facilitators for the Hezbollah terror group.
Adel Diab, Ali Mohamad Daoun, Jihad Salem Alame, and their company, Dar Al Salam for Travel & Tourism, were named to the sanctions list.
According to OFAC, Diab, Daoun, and Alame are all members of Hezbollah and have been using their business to funnel funding to the Iran-backed Lebanese terror group.
The designation comes as part of a U.S. policy to “disrupt businessmen who raise and launder funds for Hezbollah’s destabilizing activities while the Lebanese people face worsening economic and humanitarian crises,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson in a statement.
“Hezbollah claims it supports the Lebanese people, but just like other corrupt actors in Lebanon that Treasury has designated, Hezbollah continues to profit from insulated business ventures and backdoor political deals, amassing wealth that the Lebanese people never see.”
Lebanon has suffered from a major financial crisis that began in 2019, when its currency plunged to record lows, triggering a bank collapse and the loss of much of the population’s life savings.
A massive explosion at the Port of Beirut in August 2020 served as a poignant symbol of government negligence and corruption run amok. More than a year after the explosion, no government officials have been held accountable, and a judge leading an inquiry into the disaster has been repeatedly threatened.
The sanctions “come at a time in which the Lebanese economy faces an unprecedented crisis and Hezbollah, as part of Lebanon’s government, is blocking economic reforms and inhibiting much needed change for the Lebanese people,” OFAC said in a statement.
Some 78 percent of Lebanese are now living under the poverty line, with 38 percent of them living in “extreme poverty,” according to the UN.
A July 2021 video of the lavish wedding of the daughter of a former Hezbollah MP sparked widespread outrage throughout Lebanon, as average citizens suffered from gas shortages and rolling blackouts.