Key financier of Hezbollah, extradited from Romania to the United States

Mohammad Bazzi, a dual Lebanese-Belgian national accused by the United States of financing the Iran-backed Hezbollah movement in Lebanon, was extradited from Romania and charged Wednesday in federal court in Brooklyn for violating sanctions and money laundering, US prosecutors announced, according to Reuters. Bazzi is considered a key financier of Hezbollah.

The US Treasury Department put Mohammad Bazzi on its sanctions list in 2018 because of his alleged ties to Hezbollah, which Washington considers a terrorist organization.

Mohammad Bazzi, 58, who Washington says has provided millions of dollars to Hezbollah, was arrested in February in Romania on charges that he secretly sold real estate he owned in Michigan and allegedly transferred the funds to abroad, thereby violating US sanctions laws.

Bazzi was extradited Tuesday and pleaded not guilty at a hearing Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Peggy Kuo, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Brooklyn. The judge ordered that he be detained until the trial.

Mohammad Ibrahim Bazzi, who operates or does business in Belgium, Lebanon, Iraq and several West African countries, is a key financier of Hezbollah. Bazzi generated millions of dollars for Hezbollah from his business activities.

Bazzi’s lawyers did not respond to Reuters requests for comment on the case.

extraditedfinancierHezbollahIranLebanese-Belgian nationalMohammad Bazzimoney launderingRomaniaUnited StatesUS
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