Mohammed Tarabain Chamas

Mohammed Tarabain Chamas is a U.S.-designated Hezbollah operative in the Tri-Border Area (TBA) of South America––the region that straddles the borders of Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina. According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, he has transferred funds from the TBA to Hezbollah in Lebanon and regularly maintains contact with Hezbollah members in Lebanon and Iran.“Treasury Targets Hizballah Fundraising Network in the Triple Frontier of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, December 6, 2006, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/hp190.aspx. Chamas also serves as the administrator of the U.S.-designated Galería Page shopping center (today known as Shopping Uniamérica) in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, which reportedly serves as a “regional command post” for Hezbollah.“Treasury Targets Hizballah Fundraising Network in the Triple Frontier of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, December 6, 2006, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/hp190.aspx; “Terrorist and Organized Crime Groups in the Tri-Border Area (TBA) of South America,” Library of Congress, July 2003, 2, 20, https://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/pdf-files/TerrOrgCrime_TBA.pdf. He has also served as a private secretary for U.S.-designated Hezbollah leader Muhammad Yusif Abdallah, and has provided Hezbollah with security information about residents in the TBA as part of the group’s counterintelligence operations.“Treasury Targets Hizballah Fundraising Network in the Triple Frontier of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, December 6, 2006, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/hp190.aspx.

On December 6, 2006, Chamas was designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.“Treasury Targets Hizballah Fundraising Network in the Triple Frontier of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, December 6, 2006, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/hp190.aspx. According to the designation, he held Paraguayan, Brazilian, and Lebanese citizenship at the time.“Recent OFAC Actions,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, December 6, 2006, https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/pages/20061206.aspx.

As of 2005, Chamas reportedly served as the proprietor and vice president of a company called Hi-Tech Digital Technology S.A. As of 2011, he reportedly operated a parking garage called Cars Estacionamento in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil.Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi, “Examining the Effectiveness of the Kingpin Designation Act in the Western Hemisphere,” Congressional Testimony: Foundation for Defense of Democracies, November 8, 2017, http://docs.house.gov/meetings/FA/FA07/20171108/106606/HHRG-115-FA07-Wstate-OttolenghiE-20171108.pdf. As of 2016, he reportedly continued to serve as the administrator of Shopping Uniamérica, though official documents showed that he had also been appointed administrator of an adjacent shopping center in Ciudad del Este called Galería Conquistador.Emanuele Ottolenghi, “What Netanyahu Should Ask Paraguay’s President,” Jerusalem Post (Jerusalem), July 17, 2016, https://www.jpost.com/Opinion/The-question-Netanyahu-should-raise-to-visiting-president-of-Paraguay-460664; Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi, “Examining the Effectiveness of the Kingpin Designation Act in the Western Hemisphere,” Congressional Testimony: Foundation for Defense of Democracies, November 8, 2017, http://docs.house.gov/meetings/FA/FA07/20171108/106606/HHRG-115-FA07-Wstate-OttolenghiE-20171108.pdf.

United States

The U.S. Department of the Treasury designated “Mohamad Tarabain Chamas” as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224 on December 6, 2006.“Treasury Targets Hizballah Fundraising Network in the Triple Frontier of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, December 6, 2006, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/hp190.aspx.

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