Romanian authorities say a Lebanese-Belgian citizen, who is considered a key financier of the Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah was arrested on Friday in Bucharest.
Romanian law enforcement authorities took Mohammad Ibrahim Bazzi into custody after he arrived in Bucharest on Friday, the Associated Press reported.
Bazzi, 58, who was labeled a “global terrorist” by the United States in 2018 when $10 million was offered for information about his whereabouts, has funneled millions of dollars to Lebanon’s Hezbollah over the years, officials said.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York on Friday charged Mohammad Ibrahim Bazzi and Talal Chahine, both Lebanese citizens, with conspiracy “to conduct and cause American persons to conduct unlawful transactions and money laundering conspiracy.”
“As alleged, Mohammad Bazzi thought that he could secretly move hundreds of thousands of dollars from the United States to Lebanon without detection by law enforcement. Today’s arrest proves that Bazzi was wrong,” stated Peace, adding that “Our office is committed to ensuring that sanctions imposed by the US government are respected and that terrorism financiers are starved of funds.”
“The defendants in this case attempted to provide continued financial assistance to Hizballah, a foreign terrorist organization responsible for death and destruction,” stated DEA Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Daniel J. Kafafian.
“The men and women of DEA are committed to working with our law enforcement and foreign counterparts to disrupt and dismantle the operations of these organizations and those who choose to support them financially,” he added.