The PJ Tatler

US links major Lebanese bank to money laundering, terrorism

The US Department of the Treasury moved against the Lebanese Canadian Bank SAL on Thursday, charging that the bank facilitates terrorist group Hezbollah’s money laundering scheme.  In its 14 page report, which the Tatler has obtained, Treasury designated the bank as being of “primary money laundering concern,” the effect of which is to place sanctions on the bank that limit its ability to launder money. The amount of money alleged to have been laundered is staggering: $200 million per month, the proceeds from Hezbollah’s cocaine trade.

This is Treasury’s second move against a Lebanese drug network in the past few weeks. In late January, Treasury moved against alleged drug trafficker Ayman Joumaa. Jouma is believed to operate a drug network spanning from Lebanon to central and South America, particularly Panama and Colombia. Hezbollah itself is known to be operating on the frontier between Colombia and Venezuela with suspected presence as far north as Mexico, where warring drug cartels have turned that country into one of the most violent in the world.