On March 4, 2022, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated Ali Saade and Ibrahim Taher, two key Hizballah financiers operating in Guinea. According to OFAC, both are prominent Lebanese businessmen with direct connections to Hizballah. OFAC reports that Saade is the primary political contact in Guinea for Kassem Tajideen who was designated in 2009 for his financial contributions to Hizballah, while Taher is reportedly an Honorary Consul of Lebanon to Cote d’Ivoire who has been identified as one of the most prominent financial supporters of Hizballah in Guinea. The two were designated pursuant to Executive Order 13224, as amended, which targets terrorists and leaders of terrorist organizations, for providing material assistance or financial support to Hizballah. Hizballah was designated by the US as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997 and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in 2001.
As a result of these designations, all property and interests in property of today’s designees within the United States or within the possession or control of a US person are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving the designated persons. In addition, entities owned fifty percent or more by one or more designated persons are also blocked. Pursuant to EO 13224, as amended, foreign financial institutions that engage in certain transactions with today’s designees risk exposure to secondary sanctions. OFAC can also prohibit or restrict the opening or maintenance of US correspondent accounts or payable-through accounts by foreign financial institutions that knowingly facilitate any significant transactions on behalf of a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT).