U.S. bars business with four in Hezbollah laundering link (REUTERS) Reporting by Margaret Chadbourn; Editing by Timothy Ahmann, Will Dunham, Vicki Allen and David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON 06/27/12 5:05pm EDT)
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(Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury Department on Wednesday banned
Americans from doing business with three Lebanese-Venezuelans and a
Lebanese man it accused of helping to launder drug money to the
benefit of the Lebanon-based Hezbollah militant group.
It also designated one Colombian-Lebanese man, Ali Mohamad Saleh, as
a global terrorist for his involvement with Hezbollah fund-raising.
The action freezes any assets Saleh may have in the United States and
also bars Americans from doing business with him.
The Treasury Department identified the three men with dual Lebanese-
Venezuelan citizenship as Abbas Hussein Harb, Ali Houssein Harb and
Kassem Mohamad Saleh. The Lebanese citizen is Ibrahim Chibli.
The Treasury Department said the group of men involved with money
laundering were linked to Lebanese drug kingpin Ayman Joumaa, who was
indicted in December by a U.S. federal grand jury in Virginia on
charges of aiding Mexican drug cartels.
In a statement, Treasury Under Secretary David Cohen described
Joumaa´s network as "a sophisticated multi-national money laundering
ring, which launders the proceeds of drug trafficking for the benefit
of criminals and the terrorist group Hezbollah."
Hezbollah is a Shi´ite Muslim political party and guerrilla group
that remains powerful in Lebanon and receives funding from Iran.
Hezbollah has supported long-time ally Syrian President Bashar al-
Assad and is listed as a terrorist group by the United States.
The Treasury Department said Harb and Chibli conspired with others to
help ship millions of dollars in narcotics and, using a Colombia- and
Venezuela-based organization, laundered money through the Lebanese
It said Americans were now banned from doing any business with the
four men under the terms of the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation
(This story is corrected to clarify which individual accused of
Hezbollah fundraising; clarifies nature of accusation in headline;
corrected spelling of Chibli) (© Thomson Reuters 2012. 06/27/12)
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