Sanctioned Hezbollah agent has close ties to Iran’s money laundering network in Iraq
06 Apr 2020

A shadowy Hezbollah intelligence operative in Iraq has close ties to what the US refers to as a key money-laundering network by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, an investigation by The National has found.

In November 2018, the US sanctioned Mohammad Abd Al Hadi Farhat, saying the Lebanese citizen was advising militias in Iraq for Hezbollah, as well as collecting intelligence for the organisation.

“Farhat has been involved in a project to analyse and report on the Iraqi security situation for Hezbollah and the IRGC-QF,” according to the US Department of the Treasury, referring to the foreign operations wing of Iran’s paramilitary force.

The US government did not provide more information on Mr Farhat, but The National has obtained further data on the accused Hezbollah official’s activities. Mr Farhat is close to an alleged money launderer for the IRGC’s Quds Force, with interests in Iraq.

Hezbollah and its Iranian benefactors have worked in tandem in Iraq, building influence there and benefiting from a network of businesses to finance their operations.

“Iraq is becoming very important for Hezbollah fundraising,” said Michael Knights, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Corporate documents reviewed by The National, as well as a copy of Mr Farhat’s ID, reveal that in 2004 he established General Services Co S.A.R.L, an import-export company with branches in Beirut and southern Lebanon. Although the company has little public presence, it has been active in recent years, with its board of directors meeting as recently as April 2017.

One of the alleged Hezbollah spy’s business partners in the little-known company is married to Mohammad Abd Al Amir Farhat, who was sanctioned by the US in 2017 for allegedly being part of a “key IRGC-QF-run support network working with Hezbollah”.

By Albin Szakola, The National, 5 April 2020

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