A top Hezbollah financier was extradited to the U.S. from Paraguay to face charges of a $1.4 million drug money laundering scheme.
At the request of the U.S. government, Nader Mohammad Farhat was arrested in May 2018 in the Ciudad del Este, called the “Triple Frontier” since the area borders Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina.
He is reportedly a member of a Hezbollah division involved in massive international illegal financing of the terror group.
At the time of his arrest, $1.4 million in cash was found in his home as well as documents that reportedly confirm his money laundering through his money service business, Unique SA. Farhat was also wanted in Paraguay for similar crimes.
Authorities say Farhat earned money through drug trafficking, then laundered it and sent it abroad.
Farhat is named in four federal crime cases in New York and Miami. The Lebanese government sought to prevent the extradition, in violations of international diplomatic protocol.
“One must understand the influence of the activities of a man like Farhat in Paraguay,” Clarion’s Shillman Fellow and Arab Affairs analyst Ran Meir said. “It contributes directly to increasing Hezbollah’s budget by means of drugs and money laundering in amounts that can reach millions, and, by using the back door, it contributes to the introduction of drugs into the U.S. and increases Hezbollah’s terrorist activity in America.
“It’s simply too easy to do this in South America. This ‘Triple Frontier’ region where Farhat was operating has been a drug and weapons smuggling haven for years. It is also known for human trafficking, money laundering and an area that provides an enormous amount of funding for Hezbollah.”
Clarion Project researchers discovered that Hezbollah has a presence in at least 14 states in Latin America, with clear involvement in others.
Below is a map which shows Hezbollah’s presence in South and Central America: