Joseph Asmar, an attorney from Lebanon involved in the laundering of drug profits, has entered a plea of guilty in US District Court in Brooklyn (EDNY), to Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering. The defendant, who represented to undercover DEA agents posing as drug traffickers, that he moved dirty money in Europe, Africa and the US, and was affiliated with Hezbollah, was paid a commission for cleaning what was represented to him to be the proceeds of crime.
Asmar, who was arrested in Paris, and extradited to the Unite States, is part of a global money laundering network, operated by Hezbollah, which finances their terrorist operations, in large part, through criminal activities, illustrates the fact that any transaction involving Lebanese nationals, or entities, could be unwitting contact with the specially designated global terrorist organization. Therefore, for risk management purposes, the entire class of transactions with Lebanon represents elevated risk, often to the point where it exceeds prudent action.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant