Saturday, February 12, 2011

Feds: Hezbollah Gets Into the Used Car Business

Via (Detroit, Michigan) -

The DEA and the Treasury Department announced Thursday that under provisions of the Patriot Act, the U.S. is barring American financial institutions from doing business with the Lebanese Canadian Bank (LCB). Treasury officials allege that the bank has been laundering narcotics proceeds -- as much as $200 million per month -- on behalf of an international drug ring run by a Lebanese trafficker named Ayman Joumaa. According to officials, a big slice of the drug profits were then funneled back to Hezbollah in Lebanon by Joumaa and nine coconspirators through an African affiliate of LCB.

According to the Treasury, cash from drug sales in Europe, Latin America and the Middle East was first laundered through money exchanges in Lebanon, then wired to U.S. car dealers via LCB. The dealers then shipped cars to West Africa, and the proceeds from the sales of the cars in Africa were sent via an LCB affiliate in The Gambia to Hezbollah in Lebanon. None of the American used car dealers allegedly involved in the transactions were identified.

Treasury officials also said that wire transfers from LCB were sent to U.S. correspondents to pay Asian suppliers of consumer goods. The goods were then shipped to Latin America and sold for local currency.


DEA: Drug Investigations Lead to Treasury 311 Patriot Act Designation Against Lebanese Bank Tied to Hizballah (Feb 10, 2011) -

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