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US Treasury disrupts international money laundering and sanctions evasion network

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated a vast international money laundering and sanctions evasion network of 52 individuals and entities in Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong.

This network facilitated the payment, shipment, and delivery of cash, diamonds, precious gems, art, and luxury goods for the benefit of Hizballah financier and Specially Designated Global Terrorist Nazem Said Ahmad, who was designated on December 13, 2019, for providing material support to Hizballah.

“The individuals involved in this network used shell companies and fraudulent schemes to disguise Nazem Said Ahmad’s role in financial transactions,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “Luxury good market participants should be attentive to these potential tactics and schemes, which allow terrorist financiers, money launderers, and sanctions evaders to launder illicit proceeds through the purchase and consignment of luxury goods.”

With operations in Beirut, Lebanon; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Johannesburg, South Africa; and Hong Kong, Nazem Said Ahmad directs a global network of family members, associates, and companies that take advantage of the permissive nature of the global diamond, precious gems, and art market to facilitate payment for, and shipment and delivery of, luxury goods.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of the Treasury Website

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