On November 16, 2 Argentine citizens with alleged links to Lebanon’s Hezbollah were arrested, Argentina’s security ministry said in a statement. The development took place ahead of the G20 summit due to take place in Buenos Aires at the end of the month.
According to released data, the two men, 23 and 25 y.o, were arrested in a residence in the capital. Police seized several weapons, including a rifle, a shotgun and a number of pistols, as well as an image of the Hezbollah flag and a photo of the movement’s leader Hassan Nasrallah.
Police stated that they had discovered evidence of travel abroad but provided no details on this issue.
In July, Argentina froze the assets of the Barakat Group (also known as the Barakat Clan). This is a criminal organization, which is allegedly linked to Hezbollah. The Barakat Group operates in the area known as the “Triple border” made up of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.
Argentina’s Financial Information Unit identified at least 14 people linked to the Barakat Clan, who registered multiple crossings to Argentina, mainly through the Tancredo Neves International Bridge, located in the Province of Misiones. According to an official version, these people could be involved in money laundering and financing terrorist acts. The unit reportedly has the “strong hypothesis” that once out of the country the money is transferred to Hezbollah.
In February, the US and Argentina agreed to work together to cut off alleged Hezbollah funding networks and money laundering schemes across Latin America. Argentina has a large Lebanese expatriate population and Washington suspect groups within it of raising funds to support the Lebanese movement.