French authorities 'detain Hizballah money launderers' in Paris

French authorities 'detain Hizballah money launderers' in Paris
Four Lebanese citizens with alleged links to money laundering activities on behalf of Lebanese paramilitary group Hizballah have been reportedly arrested in Paris based on a US arrest warrant.
2 min read
31 January, 2016
A Hizballah volunteer collects donations on Hamra Street in central Beirut, Lebanon [Getty]
French authorities have detained four Hizballah-linked Lebanese nationals, according to Lebanese press reports.

They were detained following an arrest warrant issued by the United States over their alleged money-laundering activities on behalf of Hizballah.

The reports named the four men as Mohamad Noureddine, Mazen al-Atat, Ali Zbib and Osama Fahs.

Noureddine was targeted in sanctions by the US Treasury Department on Thursday, along with another Lebanese, Hamdi Zaher, for their alleged money laundering at the behest of powerful Lebanese militant group Hizballah, which has fought Israel and is currently fighting alongside the Syrian regime.

The US targeted Noureddine and Zaher for providing financial services to Hizballah, which the US designates as a terrorist organisation.

The Treasury said Mohamad Noureddine and Hamdi Zaher worked through Noureddine's Beirut company Trade Point International to move money for Hizballah-linked businesses and individuals already on US blacklists.

The US government and some EU nations designate Iran-backed Lebanese militia Hizballah as a terror group

"Noureddine has utilised an extensive network across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East to provide money laundering, bulk cash shipment, black market currency exchange, and other financial services to a variety of clients, including Hizballah members," the Treasury said in a statement.

Hamdi Zaher was an employee of Trade Point.

Sanctions against the Lebanese militant group seek to lock individuals and companies out of the global financial system by banning Americans and any US institutions from doing business with those on the blacklist.