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US blacklists alleged Hezbollah financier Charara

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Washington: The United States named an alleged financier of the Lebanese militia Hezbollah to its sanctions blacklist today in a mounting effort to crack down on the group’s financial resources.

The US Treasury said Ali Youssef Charara and his Beirut-based telecommunications company Spectrum Investment Group Holding have received millions of dollars from Hezbollah to invest in commercial projects.

The sanctions freeze any assets of Charara and Spectrum under US jurisdiction and forbid Americans from doing business with them.

It was the first such move since President Barack Obama signed a new law in December making it easier to target Hezbollah’s finances.

The United States has officially labelled Hezbollah a terrorist group and has already taken actions against its business network, which spans to West Africa, where Charara has interests in the telecommunications sector, the Treasury said.

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