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An Official From The US Treasury Presses Lebanon To Stop Supporting Hamas

Stimulus Check
Stimulus Check; Source- MARCA

According to reports, a senior U.S. Treasury official who was in Beirut this week urged Lebanese authorities to stop money from going to Hamas through Lebanon.

War Ongoing

Lebanese politicians and financial industry representatives met with Jesse Baker, deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury for Asia and the Middle East in the Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, on Thursday and Friday.

His visit coincided with what appears to be a deadlock in the talks between Israel and Hamas for a cease-fire in Gaza. Many anticipate a regional escalation, particularly in Lebanon, should the fighting continue during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which might begin late Sunday.

According to the source, the groups cannot accomplish their goals without the flow of money in order to pay their fighters and carry out military activities.

Anti Money Laundering

The Treasury official went on to say that for Lebanon to draw investment from the United States and other countries and to emerge from its lengthy crisis, it must demonstrate compliance with international anti-money-laundering and counterterrorism funding standards.

US Treasury

Source- Yahoo Finance

According to the Treasury official, Baker pushed for Lebanon to take tough measures against the sizable industry of illegal financial service providers that have thrived since the official banking system collapsed four years ago. These firms include those engaged in unlicensed money transfer and illegal money exchange.

These companies have provided workarounds for individuals and groups blocked from the formal financial system by U.S. sanctions, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, both of which Washington regards as terrorist groups. The cash economy in Lebanon is estimated by the World Bank to be close to 46% of the country’s GDP.

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