The U.S. Treasury Department plans to designate two Beirut-based currency exchange houses under the Patriot Act for allegedly helping Lebanese drug traffickers launder millions of dollars. In a notice of proposed rulemaking Tuesday, the department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, accused Halawi Exchange and Rmeiti Exchange of acting as institutions of "primary money laundering concern." If finalized, their designations under the Patriot Act would forbid financial institutions from maintaining U.S. correspondent or payable-through accounts for either firm. FinCEN claims the exchange houses laundered proceeds from the sale of used cars in the United States and consumer goods in Asia...
The House Committee on Foreign Affairs Thursday unanimously approved a measure that would penalize foreign banks that offer financial services to Hezbollah, an Iran-backed, Lebanon-based Shiite militant group.
A bipartisan bill targeting banks that offer financial services to Hezbollah is likely to garner broad political support among U.S. lawmakers, according to advocates of strong counterterrorist measures.
A transactional data handover mandated under a $102 million settlement disclosed Tuesday between the U.S. Justice Department and a defunct Beirut bank will likely lead to new financial crime investigations.
A Beirut-based lender acted as a "primary money laundering concern" by handling hundreds of millions of dollars for drug traffickers and a designated terrorist organization, U.S. officials said Thursday.