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U.S target Bazzi, others as part of efforts to disrupt Hezbollah finances

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Funds under rewards for justice program to be given for information leading to disruption of group’s financial networks. Mohammad Ibrahim Bazzi, a businessman believed to be an associate of Gambia’s former president Yahya Jammeh, is also accused of being one of Hezbollah financiers.

The U.S. on Monday offered up to $10 million for information on Lebanese Hezbollah’s financial networks.

The State Department’s announcement marks the first time the U.S. has offered rewards for information on Hezbollah’s financial networks.

The agency estimated Hezbollah generates 1 billion dollars annually from Iran, its international business operations, donors and money laundering.

The U.S. is seeking information under its Rewards for Justice program that could be used to disrupt revenue streams and pointed to three key financiers as examples of the types of individuals it wants more details.

They include Adham Tabaja, a Lebanese real estate developer the State Department said is intimately tied to Hezbollah, Mohammad Ibrahim Bazzi, an alleged Hezbollah financier and Ali Youssef Charara, a telecoms businessman with interests in West Africa.

All three have been designated global terrorists by the U.S.

Mohammad Ibrahim Bazzi, is a businessman believed to be an associate of Gambia’s former president Yahya Jammeh. He is also accused of being one of Hezbollah financiers. Bazzi has a lot of business interest in the country including interest in Gambia’s national energy company.

Mr Bazzi has been a person of interest in the inquiry into the finances of former President Jammeh by the administration of President Adama Barrow. That investigation has concluded but the report is yet to be out. Hezbollah has been a designated terrorist organization in the U.S. since 1997.

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