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Alleged Hezbollah associate extradited to US from Cyprus for money laundering


Hezbollah supporters holding posters of slain Iranian general Qasem Soleimani Beirut’s southern suburbs on January 5, 2020. (File Photo: Reuters)

A Lebanese man alleged to be associated with Hezbollah and its money-laundering operations has been extradited to the United States from Cyprus, the US Justice Department announced Saturday.

Ghassan Diab, a 37-year-old, landed in Miami, Florida, on Friday after Cyprus agreed to extradite him after the Cypriot Supreme Court’s order in May.

Diab is accused of having ties to “the laundering of drug proceeds through the use of the black market peso exchange in support of Hezbollah’s global criminal-support network,” according to the Justice Department.

He was initially arrested in March 2019 after landing in Cyprus, and upon an international arrest warrant. Diab was charged in Florida with two counts of money laundering over $100,000, two counts of conspiracy to launder over $100,000, two counts of unlicensed transmission of currency over $100,000, and two counts of unlawful use of a two-way communications device to further the commission of money laundering.

The Justice Department said that the “charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.”

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