Treasury Sanctions Hizballah Financiers in Lebanon

Treasury Sanctions Hizballah Financiers in Lebanon

| Tuesday 18 January 2022

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated three Hizballah-linked financial facilitators and their Lebanon-based travel company. Specifically, OFAC designated Adel Diab, Ali Mohamad Daoun, Jihad Salem Alame, and their company, Dar Al Salam for Travel & Tourism. This action comes at a time in which the Lebanese economy faces an unprecedented crisis and Hizballah, as part of Lebanon’s government, is blocking economic reforms and inhibiting much needed change for the Lebanese people.

The United States designated Hizballah as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on October 8, 1997 and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist on October 31, 2001. Hizballah’s widespread network of financial facilitators has helped the group exploit Lebanon’s financial resources and survive the current economic crisis. Through businessmen like those designated today, Hizballah gains access to material and financial support through the legitimate commercial sector to fund its acts of terrorism and attempts to destabilize Lebanon’s political institutions. The designations of the individuals and entity described below demonstrate Treasury’s ongoing efforts to target Hizballah’s continued attempts to exploit the global financial sector and evade sanctions.

“With this action, Treasury is disrupting businessmen who raise and launder funds for Hizballah’s destabilizing activities while the Lebanese people face worsening economic and humanitarian crises,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “Hizballah claims it supports the Lebanese people, but just like other corrupt actors in Lebanon that Treasury has designated, Hizballah continues to profit from insulated business ventures and backdoor political deals, amassing wealth that the Lebanese people never see.”

Adel Diab, Ali Mohamad Daoun, Jihad Salem Alame, and Dar Al Salam for Travel & Tourism were designated under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended, which targets terrorists, leaders, and officials of terrorist groups, and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.

DIAB, DAOUN, AND ALAME’S SUPPORT FOR HIZBALLAH

Adel Diab (Diab) is a Hizballah member and Lebanese businessman who used his business to raise funds for Hizballah and facilitate Hizballah’s activities. Diab has jointly owned assets with Ali Al Sha’ir, an assistant to Hizballah fundraiser Hasib Muhammad Hadwan, a member of Hizballah’s General Secretariat, who works with Hizballah Secretary General Hasan Nasrallah. Both Al-Sha’ir and Hadwan were designated by OFAC in 2021 for their Hizballah-related activities. Diab is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Hizballah.

Ali Mohamad Daoun (Daoun) is a Hizballah official who is in charge of the second district for Hizballah. Daoun is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Hizballah.

OFAC is also designating Hizballah member Jihad Salem Alame (Alame) for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Hizballah.

Diab, Daoun, and Alame together are the founders and partners of Dar Al Salam for Travel & Tourism, a Lebanon-based travel agency that they own and operate. Dar Al Salam for Travel & Tourism is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Daoun.

SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the individuals and entity named above, and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly 50 percent or more by them, individually, or with other blocked persons, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons, must be blocked and reported to OFAC. Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC or otherwise exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within the United States (including transactions transiting the United States) that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons.

Furthermore, engaging in certain transactions with the individuals and entities designated today entails risk of secondary sanctions pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended. Pursuant to this authority, OFAC can prohibit or impose strict conditions on the opening or maintaining in the United States of a correspondent account or a payable-through account of a foreign financial institution that knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant transaction on behalf of a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.

Additionally, Daoun and Dar Al Salam for Travel & Tourism are subject to the Hizballah Financial Sanctions Regulations, which implement the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015, as amended by the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act of 2018. Pursuant to these authorities, OFAC can prohibit or impose strict conditions on the opening or maintaining in the United States of a correspondent account or a payable-through account by a foreign financial institution that, among other things, knowingly facilitates a significant transaction for Hizballah or certain persons designated for their connection to Hizballah.

For information concerning the process for seeking removal from an OFAC list, including the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List, please refer to OFAC’s Frequently Asked Question 897. Additional information regarding sanctions programs administered by OFAC.

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