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Car Dealers Accused Of Funneling Cash To Hezbollah

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Federal prosecutors unsealed allegations in a New York federal court recently lending further proof of the nexus between narcotics trafficking and terrorism.

The complicated plot laid out in the complaint reveals the cunningly resourceful tactics that terrorist organizations use to fund their operations and transfer funds. The prosecutors detailed a money-laundering plot that funneled millions to terrorists. The allegations accuse 30 car dealerships in 12 states, and Lebanese Canadian Bank and two Lebanese exchange houses of involvement in the plot that funneled $480 million through the U.S. and ultimately winding up in the hands of the terrorist group Hezbollah. 

According to court documents the intricate scheme involved buying and selling used cars purchased in the United States with funds sent from Lebanon, procured through the drug trade. The cars were then sent to West Africa where they were sold. The proceeds from the sales were then funneled to the Lebanese based terrorist organization. 

Consider that experts have said that terrorists have shown adaptability and opportunism in meeting their funding requirements. These organizations raise funds from legitimate sources, legitimate businesses or self-financing by the terrorists themselves, but also derive funding from a variety of criminal activities ranging in scale and sophistication from low-level crime to narcotics smuggling. Consider the findings of a November 2008 study by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, in Washington, D.C. titled "The Money Trail: Finding, Following, and Freezing Terrorist Finances" which said in part: “ Due to TFTP terrorists have changed the way they raise money for their activities, relying more on criminal activities like the drug trade and using informal transfer methods outside of the global financial system.”

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Comments

  • Security Solutions International
    Security Solutions International Thursday, 22 December 2011

    Used cars?!

    I know that one of those "car dealerships" is located right here in South Florida.

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