Authorities: Key Hezbollah financier arrested in Bucharest

Credit: Arab News

NEW YORK (AP) — A Lebanese and Belgian citizen considered a key financier of the Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah was arrested Friday in Bucharest, Romania’s capital, federal authorities said.

Mohammad Ibrahim Bazzi, 58, who was labeled a “global terrorist” by the United States in 2018 when $10 million was offered for information about his whereabouts, has funneled millions of dollars to Hezbollah over the years, authorities said.

U.S. Attorney Breon Peace in Brooklyn said the extradition of Bazzi and Lebanese citizen Talal Chahine, 78, was sought on charges contained in an indictment returned last month in Brooklyn federal court.

“Mohammad Bazzi thought that he could secretly move hundreds of thousands of dollars from the United States to Lebanon without detection by law enforcement,” Peace said in a release. “Today’s arrest proves that Bazzi was wrong.”

Charges lodged against Bazzi and Chahine included conspiracy to cause U.S. individuals to conduct unlawful transactions with a global terrorist and money laundering conspiracy. It was unclear who will represent the men when they arrive in the United States.

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