Lebanese businessmen placed on US sanctions list for alleged Hezbollah links

Published November 8th, 2015 - 05:00 GMT
The US accuses China-based Adel Mohammed Cherri and his company of procuring deadly equipment for Hezbollah. (Wikimedia Commons)
The US accuses China-based Adel Mohammed Cherri and his company of procuring deadly equipment for Hezbollah. (Wikimedia Commons)

The US Department of Treasury said that it placed sanctions on two alleged Hezbollah members and their companies, and on two other companies freezing their assets, a report said on Friday.

“The US Department of Treasury targeted significant Hezbollah procurement facilitators responsible for providing material support to enhance the group’s military and terrorist capabilities,” said a statement published on the Treasury's website.

The Treasury said that it placed sanctions on Fadi Hussein Serhan and Vatech SARL, of which he is general manager.

“Serhan is a Hezbollah procurement agent and General Manager of Beirut-based company Vatech SARL, which he has used to purchase sensitive technology and equipment for Hezbullah. Serhan has purchased unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and accessories, and various electronic equipment from companies in United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East,” said the statement.

The Treasury also placed sanctions on Shenzhen, China-based Adel Mohammed Cherri and his company, Le-Hua Electronic Field Co, the report added.

“Cherri is a Hezbollah procurement agent who has purchased dual-use technology and equipment from suppliers in Asia on behalf of Hezbollah. He facilitated Hezbollah’s efforts to procure a variety of electronics from China for transport to Yemen for use in improvised explosive devices by the Houthis, a group that has engaged in acts that directly or indirectly threaten the peace, security, or stability of Yemen,” said the statement.

Sanctions also included two other companies owned and controlled by Ali Zoaiter.

“Aero Skyone Co. Limited is a China-based front company created in 2013 and controlled by Hezbollah procurement agent Ali Zoaiter who has used Aero Skyone Co. Limited. to procure engines and other UAV equipment from Europe and Asia for Hezbullah.

"Labico SAL Offshore is a Lebanon-based company owned by designated Hezbollah procurement agent Ali Zoaiter," it stated.

“Hezbollah is a dangerous, destabilizing terrorist group, and Treasury is determined to maintain maximum pressure on this organization by targeting its many revenue streams,” said Adam J. Szubin, Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

In October, the United States slapped similar sanctions on prominent Lebanese businessman Merhi Ali Abou Merhi on charges of facilitating the activities of a Lebanese-Colombian drug trafficker and money launderer accused of having ties to Hezbollah.


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