September 30, 2021

OFAC coordinates with Qatar to sanction members of Hizballah financial network

On September 29, 2021, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control announced coordinated actions by the US and the Government of Qatar against a major Hizballah financial network, involving the designation of longstanding Hizballah supporters and donors Ali Reda Hassan al-Banai (Ali al-Banai), Ali Ridha Qasabi Lari, and Abd al-Muayyid al-Banai for sending tens of millions of dollars to the terrorist group though the formal financial system and cash couriers.  Hizballah was designated by the US as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997 and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) in 2001; the Gulf Cooperation Council, of which Qatar is a member, designated Hizballah in 2016.  OFAC designated the three financiers as SDGTs pursuant to Executive Order 13224, as amended, for providing material support to Hizballah, and designated four additional Hizballah pursuant to the same Executive Order for providing material support of Ali al-Banai.  One entity, Qatar-based AlDar Properties, was also designated for being owned or controlled by one of the newly-designated Ali al-Banai supporters. 

As a result of the US designations, US property and interests in property belonging to sanctioned individuals are blocked and transactions with these persons are generally prohibited; this includes any entities that are owned 50 percent or more by blocked individuals.  In addition, persons who transact with a designated persons may themselves be exposed to US sanctions, and any foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates a significant transaction for a sanctioned person could have its access to the US financial system severed.

Department of Treasury Press Release