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Drugs seized on Lebanon border (Archive) Photo courtesy Israeli Police
Drugs seized on Lebanon border (Archive) Photo courtesy Israeli Police
 
 

Report: Hezbollah funded by drug trade

Drug dealers on behalf of Hezbollah transfer millions to Lebanese group via European narcotics transactions, Der Spiegel says; two Lebanese suspects detained in Germany after authorities seize large sums in cash

Sarah Stricker
Published: 01.09.10, 18:57 / Israel News

The Hezbollah organization funds its activities in Lebanon as well as anti-Israel operations using funds acquires through European drug transactions, German weekly Der Spiegel reported Saturday.

 

According to the report, German customs authorities and federal police arrested two Lebanese men last October whose relatives were suspected of smuggling millions of dollars, acquired through cocaine trade in Europe, to Beirut via the Frankfurt airport.

 

Der Spiegel says that suspicious first surfaced in May 2008, after customs officials at Frankfurt's airport found about nine million euros in cash in the luggage of four Lebanese nationals residing in Germany. Another half a million euros in cash were seized in a later search in their residence. The bills contained remains of cocaine, as well as the fingerprints of a Dutch drug dealer known as Carlos and familiar to European law enforcement agencies.

 

According to the report, the two detained suspects engaged in drug trades for an extended period of time, and sent funds to Lebanese relatives who are directly connected to top Hezbollah officials, including Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah.

 

Officials suspect that the two detainees have been trained at a Hezbollah training camp, Der Spiegel says. The suspects' relatives denied the allegations.

 

In recent years, Israeli officials have charged that Hezbollah is responsible for the increasing drug trade on Israel's northern border. The group is attempting to undermine Israeli society through the drugs, the officials said.

 

About two years ago, security forces thwarted what would have been the biggest drug smuggling deal in Israel's history. A joint operation by the IDF and police at the Lebanon border resulted in the seizure of roughly 32 kilograms (about 70 pounds) of pure heroin worth NIS 20 million (roughly$5 million.)

 

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