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Jammal Trust Bank of Lebanon Is Hit With US Sanctions And Pompeo Speaks After Earlier Lawsuit in EDNY

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR PFT CEFC Video

SDNY & UN GATE, August 29 – Back on January 8 while reporting from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Inner City Press noted that  Riad Salameh, Governor of the Banque Centrale du Liban (BDL), said that a civil lawsuit by approximately 1,200 plaintiffs has been brought against 11 Lebanese banks for assisting Hezbollah. The plaintiffs, all US citizens, filed the lawsuit in court in New York. The defendants in the lawsuit include the following banks, including now sanctioned Jammal Trust Bank and Bank Audi 2. Bank of Beirut 3. Bank of Beirut And The Arab Countries (BBAC)  4. Banque Libano-Française (BLF)  5. BLOM Bank  6. Byblos Bank 7. Fransabank...  9. Lebanon And Gulf Bank (LGB) 10. Middle East Africa Bank (MEAB) 11. SGBL.

  Now on August 29 the US has hit Jammal Trust Bank with sanctions over alleged support of Hezbollah, senior administration official said on a White House conference call. One of the officials said that Jammal Trust Bank knowingly provided support to Hezbollah. "It's role as Hezbollah's bank of choice is prominent... Jammal Trust has knowingly provided financial services to Hezbollah's financial counsel and U.S. entities affiliated with Hezbollah." 

  After the call, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, "The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned today Lebanon-based Jammal Trust Bank SAL (Jammal Trust) for supporting Hizballah’s illicit financial and banking activities.  Jammal Trust has a longstanding relationship with a key Hizballah financial entity and provides financial services to the Martyrs Foundation and companies controlled by Hizballah’s Executive Council.  Jammal Trust’s misconduct undermines the integrity of the Lebanese financial system.  Today’s designation reflects our determination to counter Hizballah’s terrorist and illicit activities in Lebanon.  We will continue to target individuals and entities involved in financing and providing support to Hizballah while working closely with the Central Bank of Lebanon and other Lebanese institutions which work to preserve the integrity and stability of Lebanon’s banking system." We'll have more on this, including if and how it impacts the civil case.

   The multi-bank civil action was brought on January 1 2019, under the Anti Terrorism Act by American nationals who were injured, and by the estates and families of American nationals who were killed or injured, by reason of acts of international terrorism in Iraq between 2004 and 2011 that were committed, planned or authorized by the United States designated Foreign Terrorist Organization... The EDNY case involves Mozambique and its former finance minster working with Credit Suisse, a member of Guterres' UN Global Compact, to defraud the people of that country. Three former Credit Suisse bankers were arrested in London yesterday on US charges that they took part in a fraud scheme involving US$2 billion in loans to state-owned companies in Mozambique: Andrew Pearse, 49; Surjan Singh, 44; and Detelina Subeva, 37. The three were charged in an indictment in  the EDNY Brooklyn, New York federal court with conspiring to violate the FCPA and to commit money laundering and securities fraud, according to spokesperson John Marzulli. Former Mozambique Finance Minister Manuel Chang was arrested in South Africa as part of the same criminal case.  A fifth man, Jean Boustani, was arrested on Wednesday at New York's John F Kennedy Airport. Boustani is a Lebanese citizen who worked for an Abu Dhabi-based contractor of the Mozambican companies. "The indictment alleges that the former employees worked to defeat the bank’s internal controls, acted out of a motive of personal profit, and sought to hide these activities from the bank," Credit Suisse said in a statement. When the guarantees were revealed in 2016, foreign donors, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), cut off support for Mozambique. Inner City Press inside the UN asked Mozambique diplomats about it - until it was without due process ousted from the UN, which it has now applied to reverse.


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