A recent investigative report by French weekly Le Point, titled “Iran, Colombia, Lebanon, France… Hezbollah’s Billions,” exposes the expansion of the Iranian-backed militia’s financial resources. The report details Hezbollah’s involvement in drug trafficking and money laundering across several countries.

Drug Trade as a Funding Source

Le Point alleges that Hezbollah’s drug trafficking operation, originally focused on Latin America, has expanded to include money laundering in France. The report claims Hezbollah uses luxury car purchases and laundered funds to acquire ammonium nitrate, a key component in explosives, within France.

The investigation highlights Hezbollah’s growing financial and military power, including increased influence over Lebanon’s struggling government. Le Point identifies Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil as key regions where Hezbollah has been active for over three decades.

Colombia: A Source of Cocaine

According to the report, containers filled with Hezbollah-linked drugs depart Colombia for Lebanon, Kuwait, Israel, and even the United States. Le Point emphasizes the importance of Colombian cocaine as a primary source of funding for Hezbollah, with the U.S. Treasury Department identifying over 2,000 individuals and companies linked to the group’s drug trafficking activities.

IRGC and Hezbollah: A Partnership in Crime

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) plays a central role in directing Hezbollah’s drug trade. To facilitate smuggling, both groups have secured control over key routes, including the Iraq-Iran border, Lebanon, Syria, and the entire corridor from the Mediterranean Sea to Tehran.

Cash Transactions and Economic Collapse

Hezbollah and the IRGC rely heavily on cash transactions within their areas of influence to avoid detection. This practice has exacerbated the economic crises in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.

Strengthening Power Through Drugs

The investigation concludes that drug trafficking serves as a means for Hezbollah and the IRGC to solidify their control in their respective regions and neighboring countries.

Previous Reports on Hezbollah’s Drug Activities

Le Point isn’t the only source highlighting Hezbollah’s drug trade. The report references a previous Le Point investigation citing Juan Martens, a Paraguayan expert, who confirmed the group’s significant influence in Latin America, particularly among Lebanese immigrant communities.

Additionally, a report from New York Times investigation in April 2019 exposed that Hezbollah’s involvement in money laundering and drug production (particularly cocaine) in Venezuela, is allegedly with the aid of Nicolás Maduro’s government officials.

Another New York Times report details the involvement of Syrian regime officials, including President Bashar al-Assad’s brother Maher, in a billion-dollar Captagon (amphetamine) production and trafficking network.

In a January 2023 Reuters article citing intelligence sources, Jordanian airstrikes were reported to have targeted drug trafficking hideouts associated with the Iranian regime in southern Syria.

The report suggests these actions were prompted by increased drug and weapons smuggling by Hezbollah and other Iranian-affiliated militias near the Jordanian border.

Jordanian officials claim that Hezbollah from Lebanon and militias affiliated with the Iranian regime in southern Syria are increasingly involved in arms and drug trafficking.

Source » irannewsupdate