U.S. Sanctions 2 Lebanon-Based Firms, 'Hizbullah-Linked' Person
The U.S. Treasury on Thursday imposed sanctions on two Lebanon-based companies and a man described as a Hizbullah official.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, sanctioned the companies Arch Consulting and Meamar Construction "for being owned, controlled, or directed by Hizbullah."
OFAC also sanctioned Sultan Khalifah Asaad, saying that he is a Hizbullah official closely associated with both companies.
"Hizbullah leverages Arch and Meamar to conceal money transfers to Hizbullah's own accounts, further enriching Hizbullah's leadership and supporters, and depriving the Lebanese people of much-needed funds," the Treasury said.
“Through Hizbullah’s exploitation of the Lebanese economy and manipulation of corrupt Lebanese officials, companies associated with the terrorist organization are awarded government contracts,” said Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin.
“The United States remains committed to targeting Hizbullah and its supporters as they corruptly abuse Lebanese resources to enrich their leaders while the Lebanese people suffer from inadequate services," he added.
He noted that Hizbullah's activities "permeate all aspects of the Lebanese economy, including the construction and infrastructure sectors."
Munchin also charged that Hizbullah "conspires with Lebanese officials, including the recently designated former Minister of Public Works and Transportation, Youssef Fenianos, to direct government contracts worth millions of dollars to these companies, which are overseen by Hizbullah’s Executive Council."
"The Council also receives the corrupt profits from these companies," he said.
In a statement, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Hizbullah collaborated with Fenianos to "ensure that Arch and Meamar won Lebanese government contracts worth millions of dollars," noting that the companies "sent a portion of those funds to Hizbullah’s Executive Council."
He also noted that Arch Consulting was previously part of and continues to "provide funds to Jihad al-Bina, a prominent Hizbullah construction company designated by the United States in 2007."
“Sultan Khalifa As’ad oversees Arch, Meamar, and other Hizbullah companies in his position on Hizbullah’s Executive Council, where he helps manage the terrorist group’s municipal affairs. As’ad coordinates directly with Hashim Safi al-Din, head of Hizbullah’s Executive Council, to guide the activities of Arch, Meamar, and other Hizbullah companies,” Pompeo explained.