Kingpin of Hizballah’s illicit money network arrested by Brazilian police

Assad Ahmad Barakat, mastermind of Hizballah’s financial network in the notorious South American “Triple Frontier” region, has been detained by Brazilian police near the Paraguay-Argentine border. A Lebanese national, Barakat is reputed to run Hizballah’s large-scale smuggling, drug-trafficking and money-laundering rings for funding its terrorist operations from the Latin American Triple Frontier” which is a hotbed of these and other crimes.  In 2006, the US Treasury Department listed Barakat as a “global terrorist.” Argentine police accuse him of laundering $10m at a casino in the Iguazu Falls area of Brazil, where he was arrested.  He is also wanted for identity theft in Paraguay, where he previously served six years in prison for tax evasion. Brazil accuses him of continuing to operate in Argentina, Brazil and Chile after his release from prison in 2008. The Hizballah operative could stand trial in any or all these countries.

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