Treasury targets firms with ties to North Korea, Hezbollah

Treasury targets firms with ties to North Korea, Hezbollah

The Treasury Department on Thursday targeted 12 individuals and companies accused of violating U.S. sanctions on transactions with North Korea and Hezbollah.

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) penalized Lebanese national Muhammad Abdallah al-Amin and his seven Lebanon-based companies for allegedly providing financial support to Hezbollah insider Adham Tabaja.

Al-Amin is accused of holding money and providing financial services for Hezbollah, a terrorist group with ties to Iran’s government, through Tabaja. His network of businesses includes energy production and equipment suppliers, a food importer and distributor, a marketing firm, and several merchandise and trading companies.

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The sanctions against Al-Amin are the latest Treasury Department effort to dial up financial pressure on Iran. The Treasury Department said that the new penalties set a record for the most actions taken against Hezbollah through sanctions in a year.

“Our action should serve as a warning that we will impose consequences on anyone engaging in business relationships with al-Amin or other Hizballah support networks,” said Sigal Mandelker, under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

“Treasury has taken more actions against Hizballah this year than ever before, and we are fully committed to shutting down this terrorist network.”

In a separate action, OFAC targeted Turkey-based SIA Falcon International Group, its CEO Huseyin Sahin and general manager Erhan Culha for allegedly shipping luxury goods to North Korea. Strict international financial sanctions ban the exportation of valuable products and critical technology to North Korea.

The U.S. has steadily boosted pressure on North Korea’s dismal economy and the Kim regime to secure a deal to denuclearize the peninsula.