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BEIRUT — The US on Tuesday slapped sanctions on a high-profile Lebanese economist alleged to be aiding the militant group Hezbollah with its monetary operations.
The U.S. Treasury Division introduced sanctions in opposition to economist and cash exchanger Hassan Moukalled; CTEX Alternate, a cash service enterprise owned by him; and Moukalled’s sons, Rayyan Moukalled and Rani Moukalled, who the Treasury mentioned in an announcement “facilitate Hassan Moukalled and his firm’s monetary actions in help of Hizballah.”
It mentioned that Moukalled, who often seems as an financial analyst on native media, had “labored in shut coordination with senior Hizballah monetary officers to assist Hizballah set up a presence in Lebanon’s monetary system.” It mentioned he serves as a monetary adviser to the militant group, “finishing up enterprise offers on behalf of the group all through the area.”
The Treasury additionally alleged that Moukalled’s change store serves as a “monetary entrance firm” for Hezbollah.
The sanctions additionally focused two different corporations owned or managed by Moukalled, the Lebanese Firm for Data and Research (LCIS) and Lebanese Firm for Publishing, Media, and Analysis and Research (LCPMR).
Reached by cellphone, Moukalled denied the allegations and mentioned his companies are “100% above-board.”
The transfer comes after the U.S. in December slapped terrorism sanctions on two accountants and two corporations in Lebanon for offering Hezbollah with monetary providers.
The penalties focused Adel Mohamad Mansour, government director of Hezbollah’s al-Qard Al-Hassan group, which has been beforehand sanctioned by the U.S., in addition to one other firm he’s concerned with, al-Khobara for Accounting, Auditing, and Research.
The sanctions additionally apply to the agency Auditors for Accounting and Auditing and one among its representatives, Naser Hasan Neser, in addition to Hassan Khalil, who the Treasury Division mentioned has been energetic in serving to Hezbollah purchase arms.