DEA and other federal officials announced Friday the arrest of Kassim Tajideen, a prominent financial supporter of the Hizballah terror organization.
Tajideen is charged with evading U.S. sanctions imposed on him because of his financial support of Hizballah, officials said.
DEA and other federal officials today announced the arrest of Kassim Tajideen, a prominent financial supporter of the Hizballah terror organization.
Tajideen is charged with evading U.S. sanctions imposed on him because of his financial support of Hizballah.
Tajideen, 62, of Beirut, Lebanon, was arrested overseas on March 12.
He is facing an 11-count indictment unsealed Friday in federal court.the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia following his arrival to the United States.
Tajideen has plead not guilty and was ordered held pending a detention hearing set for March 29.
The arrest and indictment are the result of a two-year investigation.
The arrest is part of DEA’s Project Cassandra, which targets Hizballah’s global criminal support network – dubbed by the DEA as the Business Affairs Component that operates as a logistics, procurement and financing arm for Hizaballah.
“Kassim Tajideen posed a direct threat to safety and stability around the world,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Raymond Donovan. “A prominent money man for Hizballah, Tajideen acted as a key source of funds for their global terror network. DEA and our partners are unrelenting in our pursuit of the world’s most dangerous terror and criminal networks and their many facilitators who threaten the rule of law and innocent lives.
The indictment charges Tajideen with one count of willfully conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations, seven counts of unlawful transactions with a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, and one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments.
The indictment also indicates that the government will seek a forfeiture money judgment against the defendants.
According to the indictment, Tajideen allegedly presided over a multi-billion-dollar commodity distribution business that operates primarily in the Middle East and Africa through a web of companies, partnerships, and trade names.
The indictment further alleges that Tajideen and others engaged in an elaborate scheme to do business with U.S. companies while concealing Tajideen’s involvement in those transactions.
The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control named Tajideen a Specially Designated Global Terrorist on May 27, 2009.
According to the indictment, between approximately July of 2013 until the present day, the conspirators illegally completed at least 47 individual wire transfers, totaling over approximately $27 million, to parties in the United States.
During the same time period, the conspirators caused dozens of illegal shipments of goods to leave U.S. ports for the benefit of Tajideen, without obtaining the proper licenses from the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
The defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty, according to officials.