On September 12, 20223, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated Hizballah leader and senior operative Amer Mohamed Akil Rada (“Amer”) as well as several key businesses and associates that are part of network that generates revenue for Hizballah’s terrorist activities and supports the group’s presence in South America and Lebanon. According to OFAC, Amer, who currently lives in Lebanon, was also involved in the 1992 Israeli embassy bombing in Buenos Aires and the 1994 terrorist attack against the Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) that killed 85 people in Argentina and wounded hundreds more. More recently, Amer and his associates are allegedly generating funds for Hizballah by managing a commercial enterprise for the group, which involves the export of charcoal from Colombia to Lebanon. Among the designees is Amer’s brother Samer Akil Rada who has been linked to drug trafficking and money laundering crimes in various countries in Latin America and Amer’s son Mahdy Akil Helbawi who conducts business on Amer’s behalf in Colombia most likely to help him evade detection and circumvent sanctions.
All of the designations were made pursuant to Executive Order 13224, as amended, which targets terrorists, terrorist leaders and organizations, and those who support terrorists or acts of terrorism. The individuals and entities were designated for providing financial or material assistance in support of Hizballah or Amer or for being an entity owned or controlled by one of the newly designated individuals. As a result of these designations, all property and interests in property of the 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 person. In addition, entities owned 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.