The American Financial Assault on Hezbollah Continues

That New York Times article about Hezbollah’s finances turned out to be a little amuse-bouche in preparation for the real news: The American government is launching a full on legal war on all parties that have dealt financially with Hezbollah as reported by the Times:

The court action, filed in Manhattan federal court, seeks nearly half a billion dollars in penalties from three Lebanese financial organizations — the now-defunct Lebanese Canadian Bank and two Beirut-based money exchange houses — and 30 auto dealers in the United States. The $480 million in penalties is the sum of the drug proceeds that are alleged to have been laundered; the government is also seeking to freeze and seize assets traceable to those companies.

SGBL, which took in the assets of the Lebanese Canadian Bank (LCB) is safe because it refused to take in suspect accounts. But the court action might involve tracing the assets of the 200 account-holders orphaned by the LCB and who are now probably hosted at other Lebanese Banks. Governor Riad Salameh is in a tough spot as he might find himself forced to cooperate with the legal investigation and shine more light on a publicity-shy Lebanese banking system.

Assocation of Banks in Lebanon

– Not enjoying the attention at all –

A nice side-story to this entire tale is that sources close to the Association of Banks in Lebanon told Annahar that the 36$M paid by Lebanese banks to the International Tribunal are partly meant as a gesture of goodwill towards an international community which has set its eyes on Lebanese banks for allegations of laundring money and dodging sanctions against Syria.

And yet this is the news they wake up to this morning.

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  • Nadine

    I love the photo caption!

    • Mustapha

      haha, glad you do..

  • fadi

    first we have to realize it’s not the entire US attacking, it’s certain extremely powerful parties, the same ones who pushed the US to label hizabala as terrorists, and they must be resisted in the US not in Lebanon.

    This is because that assault isn’t on hizbala, it just happens to be hizbala who’s at the forefront of Lebanese resistance, whether we like it or not, so they’re targeted first but once hizbala is over with, it going to be the sunnis, maronites etc.. except if you want to fool yourself into thinking that after hizbala is over with, we’re all gonna live together in peace and love and the borders will be open, and tourists will come bask in the beauty of beirut from tel aviv lol

  • Shiwa7ad

    Wait a minute, you say Hezbollah is targeted first, but Hezbollah claims that they have nothing to do with this used cars business or this drug business, and hence they have nothing to do with the lawsuit. At worst the lawsuit is just bad publicity, right ? since I suppose you adopt Hezbollah claims that it has absolutely nothing to do with all those bank accounts, drug smuggling, or car commerce, then any measure the American government takes doesn’t affect it. The measures might affect the Lebanese government or the Lebanese banking system, but not Hezbollah. So those that should be protected from the US anger are prime minister Mikati and the banks, right ? and my opinion is that forcing them to pay Lebanon’s share of the STL out of their pocket is not the best way to improve their relation with the West. Just my opinion …

  • a Sunni

    Lebanon lives off of Money Laundering, and we have had 150 BILLION DOLLARS come in to Lebanon from 1991 to 2007. That’s the only reason we’ve been able to survive that mafia in power that was mercilessly looting the state, and it’s the only reason why Lebanon, that was no more corrupt than neighboring ‘Bajam’ countries like Syrian and Egypt, turned out less of a mess than these countries.