Hezbollah-linked crime group’s funds frozen in Argentina
Assets owned by the Barakat clan have been frozen by Argentina following suspicious transaction reporting from Casino Iguazu.
The Argentinian casino reported that individuals would convert cash into chips and back again. The Barakat clan is believed to have crossed into Argentina from Brazil for the purposes of laundering their money through the Casino in this manner.
The Barakat clan is suspected of involvement in a variety of financial crimes, including terrorist financing for Hezbollah.
Analysis: While Hezballah receives significant state support from Iran and Syria, the group also employs a number of other methods of rising funds, including taxing activity (both criminal and licit). The tri-border area in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay is widely believed to be a significant Hezbollah financing hub.