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Alleged Hezbollah Financier Extradited to U.S. on Sanctions Evasion Charges

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A dual Lebanese-Belgian citizen accused by the United States of financing Lebanon’s Hezbollah has been extradited from Romania and will face sanctions evasion and money laundering charges on Wednesday in Brooklyn federal court, prosecutors said.

Mohammad Bazzi, who Washington says has provided millions of dollars to Hezbollah, was arrested in February on charges of covertly selling real estate he owned in Michigan and transferring the funds abroad, violating U.S. sanctions laws.

Bazzi was extradited on Tuesday, and is expected to be arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Kuo at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT), according to a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Brooklyn.

The U.S. Treasury Department placed Bazzi, 58, on its sanctions list in 2018 over his alleged ties to Hezbollah, which Washington considers a terrorist organization.

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Lawyers for Bazzi did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Prosecutors in Brooklyn last week charged another alleged Hezbollah financier, Nazem Ahmad, with evading U.S. sanctions by exporting hundreds of millions of dollars of diamonds and art.

(Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York; Editing by Mark Porter)

Copyright 2023 Thomson Reuters.

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