Thursday, January 23, 2014

Hezbollah Involved in Int'l Money Laundering Operation

According to this article at the Brisbane Times, Australian authorities have busted a massive drug money laundering scheme which has ties to, and provides funds to, Hezbollah. The relevant part of the article states:
It's understood that dozens of ''exchange houses'' or money-laundering centres in the Middle East and Asia are then used to wash and distribute the money to overseas crime bosses. 
It is believed at least one of the exchange houses used in the Australian operation delivers a cut from every dollar it launders to Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, whose military wing has been proscribed in Australia as a terrorist organisation. 
Last year, the US government identified two Lebanese exchange houses, Kassem Rmeiti and Halawi Exchange, as drug money cleaners financing Hezbollah.
It is not uncommon for terrorist groups to become involved in the drug trade. Killing innocent people doesn't pay very well. For some groups, what started as a side-line method of obtaining money becomes the very reason for their continued existence. Other groups, I imagine, are just absorbed into larger cartels. I, myself, am perplexed on why coalition forces did not take a more aggressive stance on destroying opium production in Afghanistan.

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