US imposes sanctions on Hezbollah supporters, Paraguayan officials
BEIRUT / WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following the imposition of sanctions by the United States Treasury against Hassan Makled, the owner of a financial exchange firm, and his two sons Rayan and Rani for “facilitating the financial activities of Hezbollah”, the Central Bank of Lebanon announced the freezing of bank accounts associated with the Makleds and their firm.
Governor of the Central Bank, Riad Salameh, said in a statement that the Special Investigation Commission took a decision to freeze the accounts, which were included in the lists of the Office of Foreign Assets Control.
Salameh himself is embroiled in a financial scandal. Investigators from various European nations recently arrived in Lebanon to extend their inquiries into Salameh over suspected embezzlement and money laundering both domestically and overseas.
On Thursday, the US Treasury also imposed sanctions on former President of Paraguay Horacio Cartes and current Vice President of Paraguay Hugo Velasquez. The Office of Foreign Assets Control listed four entities controlled by Cartes on his blacklist.
The Treasury accused Cartes of participating in corrupt activities before, during, and after his presidency, while Velasquez was accused of interfering in legal proceedings to protect himself and his criminal associates from investigation.
The Treasury added that both Cartes and Velasquez have links with members of Hezbollah, which is classified by the US as a terrorist organization. The statement released by the Treasury said that Hezbollah organizes events on a regular basis to exchange gifts and bribes in Paraguay, which has a large Lebanese community.
The Treasury stated that the sanctions include banning all property and interests of Cartes and Velasquez in the United States.