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US sentences Lebanon businessman to 5 years for financing Hezbollah

Hezbollah troops during a military parade
Hezbollah troops [File photo]

A US court on Thursday sentenced Lebanese businessman Kassim Tajideen to five years in prison and a $50 million fine over claims of financing Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

In a statement published on its website, the US Attorney’s Office in the District of Colombia said that Tajideen operates a network of businesses in Lebanon and in Africa which the US Department of the Treasury designated as a financier of Hezbollah.

Tajideen had had previously pleaded guilty to evading US sanctions imposed on him by the US Department of the Treasury.

“In 2009, the US Department of the Treasury designated Tajideen as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist based on his tens of millions of dollars of financial support of Hezbollah,” the statement said.

“The designation prohibited Tajideen from being involved in, or benefiting from, transactions involving US persons or companies without a license from the Department of the Treasury,” the statement added.

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Tajideen was accused of “knowingly” violating the sanctions and putting the security of Americans at risk.

Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski of the Criminal Division said: “[Tajideen’s] sentencing and the $50 million forfeiture in this case are just the latest public examples of the Department of Justice’s ongoing efforts to disrupt and dismantle Hezbollah and its support networks.”

US Attorney Jessie K Liu for the District of Columbia said: “Today’s sentencing highlights our efforts to prosecute those who violate sanctions meant to stem the flow of money to terrorist groups.”

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