Hezbollah denies US accusations of drug trafficking


Hezbollah denied on Tuesday US Treasury Department’s accusation that the party was involved in drug trafficking and money laundering and called the allegations “pure lies and fabrications.”

“This accusation falls within a US campaign [that seeks] to distort Hezbollah’s image,” the Iranian and Syrian backed militant group said in a statement.

On June 27, the United States named five Colombia and Venezuela-based men as key players in a sprawling trafficking and money laundering network of an alleged Hezbollah-linked Lebanese drug lord, identified as Ayman Joumaa.

The United States, which labels Hezbollah as a terrorist group, has been applying pressure on the Lebanese government, Central Bank and the commercial banks to tighten measures to prevent any money laundering and drug-related crimes.

“The Joumaa network is a sophisticated multi-national money laundering ring, which launders the proceeds of drug trafficking for the benefit of criminals and the terrorist group Hezbollah,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen in the statement from the U.S. Treasury last June

“We and our partners will continue to aggressively map, expose and disable this network, as we are doing with today’s sanctions,” he added.