Morocco detains Lebanese businessman wanted by US for financing Hezbollah

"We now know there is an extradition order from the U.S. authorities," Tajeddine's attorney told The Associated Press.
  • Last update: 16 March 2017 | 19:54

BEIRUT: A Lebanese businessman that the U.S. says has provided millions of dollars to the Hezbollah militant group has been arrested by Moroccan authorities, his lawyer said Thursday.

The lawyer for Kassim Tajeddine said he was arrested in Casablanca on Sunday while on his way from Guinea to Beirut.

"We now know there is an extradition order from the U.S. authorities," attorney Chibli Mallat said in an emailed response to questions from The Associated Press.

Mallat said another lawyer who was appointed in Morocco saw Tajeddine in prison in Sale, near the capital, Rabat. "He is in good spirits and is treated adequately," Mallat said.

The U.S. Treasury Department says Tajeddine is "an important financial contributor to Hezbollah" who was listed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in May 2009.

Tajeddine's family issued a short statement saying the businessman is with Moroccan authorities and "is in good health." It urged those seeking further information about Tajeddine to contact the family.

The U.S. treasury says Tajeddine funneled proceeds from Tajco, a multi-national business venture, to Hezbollah. The Shiite militant group has gone to war with Israel in the past and is now fighting alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces.

Hezbollah, which has members in Lebanon's parliament and Cabinet, is considered a terrorist organization by Washington.

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