For the first time since the passage of the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015, a financier of the terrorist organization and his company have been sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department.
All U.S.-based assets of Ali Youssef Charara and Spectrum Investment Group Holding SAL, a telecommunications company Charara chairs, have been frozen as of the Jan. 5 announcement. Charara, the Treasury reported, received millions of dollars from Hezbollah to invest in commercial projects that financially benefit the group.
Charara has also worked on oil ventures in Iraq with Hezbollah member Adham Tabaja and Hezbollah financial supporter Kassem Hejeij, both of whom were sanctioned last year by the Treasury.
“Hezbollah relies upon accomplices in the business community to place, manage and launder its terrorist funds,” Adam J. Szubin, acting under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement. “We are committed to exposing and disrupting these networks to pressure Hezbollah’s finances and degrade its ability to foment violence in Lebanon, Syria and across the region.”
Since October 2001, Hezbollah has been declared a “specially designated global terrorist” by the department of state.