Tuesday, March 28

Muhammad Bazzi arrested in Bucharest: Authorities

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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.US 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 US 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.Daniel J. Kafafian, acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New Jersey, said the defendants “attempted to provide continued financial assistance to Hezbollah, a foreign terrorist organization responsible for death and destruction.”Romanian law enforcement authorities took Bazzi into custody after he arrived in Bucharest on Friday, according to the release announcing his arrest.Authorities said Bazzi and Chahine conspired to force or induce an individual in the US to liquidate their interests in some real estate assets in Michigan and covertly transfer hundreds of thousands of dollars in proceeds out of the US to Bazzi and Chahine in Lebanon.The men were caught on recorded conversations proposing numerous ways to conceal from US law enforcement officials that Bazzi was the source and destination of the proceeds of the sale and that the men were involved, authorities said.

Bazzi is a Lebanese business tycon who had a Gambian diplomatic passport during former president Yahya Jammeh’s regime.

Bazzi is known to have interest in at least 15 companies which either directly or indirectly

had business dealings with former Jammeh’s government.

Among the companies he was supplying were NAWEC for its generators heavy fuel, rehabilitation of the distribution network, Gambia Petroleum Company, Gambia Milling Corporation.

The US government promised to pay 10million US Dollars to anyone who gives his whereabouts to arrest him since he was financier terrorist Hizzballah. Source: Arab News