Huge Hizballah drug trafficking, money laundering scheme discovered: DEA
The US Drug Enforcement Agency announced Tuesday that American and European law enforcement agencies have uncovered an international money laundering and drug trafficking operation run by Hizballah that is being used to fund the terrorist organization's operations in Syria. It said senior leaders of the Hizballah operation in Europe were arrested last week.
The DEA said its "Project Cassandra" is aimed at breaking up Hizballah's network for shipping cocaine to Europe and the US. The network was founded by the late arch-terrorist Imad Mughniyeh and is currently run by Abdallah Safieddine and Adham Tabaja, in cooperation with South American drug cartels. Law enforcement authorities in seven countries are involved in the ongoing investigation that started in 2015, according to the DEA.
The agency added that the network's couriers collect and transport drug proceeds from Europe to the Middle East, with much of the millions of euros in proceeds transiting through Lebanon. The proceeds are then paid to drug traffickers in Colombia.
The Hizballah schemes "provide a revenue and weapons stream for an international terrorist organization responsible for devastating terror attacks around the world,” DEA Acting Deputy Administrator Jack Riley said. "DEA and our partners will continue to dismantle networks who exploit the nexus between drugs and terror using all available law enforcement mechanisms.”