The United States has asked Paraguay to extradite a Lebanese national suspected of funneling money to the Shiite militant group Hezbollah from the South American nation, court sources said Wednesday.
Mussa Ali Hamdan, 38, was arrested Tuesday in Ciudad del Este, part of the Triple Frontier, a region the United States has repeatedly cited as being exploited by militant groups that “finance terrorist activities.”
Hamdan is accused of 31 crimes, according to Interpol. The US extradition request cites his alleged material support for Hezbollah “including falsified documents.”
The suspect is also accused of counterfeiting US currency and conspiracy to commit passport fraud, according to the request.
Hamdan appeared Wednesday before Judge Hugo Sosa Pasmor to confirm his identity as part of an extradition request, and then was transferred to Asuncion’s Tacumbu penitentiary.
Local media, citing local security officials, have said Hamdan was financing Hezbollah, which fought a devastating 2006 war with Israel and is blacklisted as a terror group by Washington.
A cosmopolitan area and significant tourist spot, the Triple Frontier is also considered a major spot for smuggling and other organized crime. Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina however deny their shared region is a hotbed for terror financing.
Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.
The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or at one of the offices listed above.