US Treasury sanctions financial expert Hassan Moukalled

Lebanon News
2023-01-24 | 10:53
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US Treasury sanctions financial expert Hassan Moukalled
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US Treasury sanctions financial expert Hassan Moukalled

The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has designated several individuals and associated entities for facilitating financial activities for Hizballah. At the center of this network is Lebanese money exchanger and so-called financial expert Hassan Moukalled.

According to OFAC, Moukalled has played a key role in enabling Hizballah to continue to exploit and exacerbate Lebanon’s economic crisis. 

Treasury has also designated CTEX Exchange, a money service business owned by Hassan Moukalled, in addition to Hassan Moukalled’s sons, Rayyan Moukalled and Rani Moukalled, who facilitate Hassan Moukalled and his company’s financial activities in support of Hizballah. 

According to OFAC as of mid-2021, Hassan Moukalled established on behalf of Hizballah CTEX as a financial front company in Beirut.

Senior Hizballah financial official Muhammad Qasir and his deputy Muhammad Qasim al-Bazzal were reportedly behind the establishment of CTEX. 

"In mid-2021, Hassan Moukalled received a license from Lebanon’s central bank for CTEX to transfer money within Lebanon and abroad, and within a year the company had obtained significant market share within Lebanon’s currency transfer sector and was reportedly collecting millions of U.S. dollars for the Central Bank of Lebanon," the OFAC statement added.

OFAC added that CTEX was also providing US dollars to Hizballah institutions and recruiting money changers loyal to Hizballah. 

The US Treasury considered that Hassan Moukalled has advocated for CTEX directly to the central bank governor and receives commissions in the hundreds of thousands of dollars daily. 

"As Lebanon and its economy faced a dire and ongoing financial crisis in mid-2022, Hassan Moukalled was working with Hizballah officials to capitalize on investors’ and expatriates’ efforts to make money in the Lebanese financial sector and transfer cash out of Lebanon," the statement added. 

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