US Treasury designates Lebanese businessman global terrorist for Hezbollah ties
The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Lebanese businessman Muhammad Abdallah al-Amin who owns seven companies that are headquartered in Lebanon as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) and imposed sanctions on him and all his seven companies.
According to the Treasury, the companies which Amin owns or runs are: Sierra Gas S.A.L. Offshore, Lama Foods S.A.R.L., Lama Foods International Offshore S.A.L., Impulse S.A.R.L., Impulse International S.A.L. Offshore, M. Marine S.A.L. Offshore, and Thaingui S.A.L. Offshore.
Who is Muhammad Abdallah al-Amin?
Muhammad is a Lebanese businessman and merchant whose father Abdallah is a former Member of Parliament and minister. Abdallah, who was affiliated with the Baath Party, was the labor minister in the 1990s.
According to the US Treasury, Muhammad al-Amin was sanctioned for covering several of Hezbollah’s special financial operations and for providing material support to Hezbollah insider and financier Adham Husayn Tabaja who was sanctioned by the US on June 6, 2015.
“Hezbollah is an Iranian-proxy, and this Administration is focused on exposing and disrupting its terrorist funding networks. We are exerting extraordinary pressure on Hezbollah financiers like Tabaja to halt their pernicious activities in Lebanon and beyond,” said Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
“Our action should serve as a warning that we will impose consequences on anyone engaging in business relationships with al-Amin or other Hezbollah support networks. Treasury has taken more actions against Hezbollah this year than ever before, and we are fully committed to shutting down this terrorist network.”
Al-Amin kept funds in his name for Tabaja in a Lebanese bank and he was the liaison between Tabaja and banking officials. Al-Amin also helped Tabaja circumvent the US sanctions and their repercussions.
The Treasury added that al-Amin has also been involved in financial activities with Muhammad Fallah Kallas who was sanctioned by OFAC on October 20, 2016 because he provided financial services to or in support of Tabaja through his work for Tabaja’s company, Al-Inmaa Engineering and Contracting.
In May this year, the US imposed additional sanctions on Hezbollah’s top two leaders, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Naim Qassem, and others. The Saudi State Security Presidency also designated 10 Hezbollah commanders on the country’s terrorism list in May.