Washington appears to have re-engaged with its investigations into trade-based financial crimes allegedly perpetrated by Hezbollah, which the US authorities describe as a terrorist group, by appointing a new team to pursue the probe.
This follows disclosures made by a former senior official at the US’ Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Derek Maltz, who told the Fox News television channel that officials working under the administration of President Barak Obama quashed the Hezbollah trade-based money laundering (TBML) probe (Trade-based Financial Crime, 12 January 2018).
Attorney general Jeff Sessions has now said that a new group of prosecutors and investigators has been tasked with investigating individuals and networks providing support to Hezbollah.
Hezbollah allegedly operated a TBML scheme that involved the laundering of drug proceeds via sales in Africa of US sourced vehicles.
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in the Hezbollah Financing and Narcoterrorism Team will coordinate the investigations.
Led by acting assistant attorney general John Cronan, HSI will partner with investigators from the DEA, including its special operations division, FBI and attorneys from the justice department’s criminal and national security divisions.
The team’s brief is to identify and combat networks providing support to Hezbollah, pursue prosecution in appropriate cases and assess the evidence in existing investigations, including cases stemming from Project Cassandra, a law enforcement initiative targeting Hezbollah’s drug trafficking and related operations.
Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News