The US Treasury Department has added Lebanese money-changer Hassan Moukalled to its terror-financing blacklist, accusing him and his financial firm CTEX of helping the Hezbollah terror group profit off of Lebanon’s spiraling economic crash.
“Despite Moukalled’s attempts to maintain a façade as a financial expert and economist, he is in fact an opportunistic businessman exploiting Lebanon’s suffering population to financially support the Hezbollah terrorist organization, and even help it secure weapons,” State Department spokesman Ned Price says in a statement.
According to the Treasury Department, Moukalled represented Hezbollah in financial negotiations, helping it integrate into Lebanon’s fiscal system and seal business deals with partners, including arms sales.
It says CTEX was started, with Hezbollah’s cooperation, as a front company for the terror group, with millions of US dollars flowing through the exchange and into Hezbollah’s hands.
“As Lebanon and its economy faced a dire and ongoing financial crisis in mid-2022, Hassan Moukalled was working with Hezbollah officials to capitalize on investors’ and expatriates’ efforts to make money in the Lebanese financial sector and transfer cash out of Lebanon,” the department says.
The sanctions also target two of Moukalled’s sons who worked with him, and two publishing companies, which are controlled or closely associated with Moukalled, that put financial news online.