The worsening economic crisis Lebanon is experiencing and the economic sanctions that have plagued Iran for some time have reinforced Hezbollah’s ability to expand its drug trade and others to secure funding for its activities. operational in countries not at all under consideration, such as Colombia, Peru and others.
It can be understood that the shipments that the Kingdom managed to discover, which used the fruits to smuggle narcotic pills into Saudi Arabia, came in the context of the war waged by Iran through its means and weapons against the Kingdom, and in the context of obtaining financial resources targeting Saudi youth and possibly seeking resources and resources To fund the party’s activities, this is what prompted him to use the coal shipments operated by some of his companies (which come under the names of individuals) to cross . drugs and explosives across countries, taking advantage of the fact that the smell of coal makes it difficult for dogs and other equipment to detect the presence of drugs through shipments, and it also takes advantage of its ability to counterfeit and plant them. Customers in some countries avoid inspecting containers in which coal is transported and its hazardous materials are passed through.
While Venezuela and the “triple border region”, which includes Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil, have been the focus of the party’s operations in Latin America, recent events show that it has been active in recent years in lesser-known countries. operating from those in the western hemisphere, including Colombia.
Activity in Colombia
Hezbollah has established a world-wide infrastructure that enables it to increase its willingness to plan and carry out attacks in various countries, as well as to receive large funds and financial flows. Press reports published that “Quds Force” and “Hezbollah” were behind a plot to kill and target Americans and Israelis in Colombia After the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, both “Hezbollah” and Iran vowed revenge and directed their threats against United States and Israel.
The ideological alliance that Hezbollah shares with Iran has been behind many terrorist activities abroad, as the party carried out terrorist attacks in many parts of the world at the behest of Tehran.
Hezbollah directed a number of its members in Latin America and planted them there to take advantage of corruption and the humiliation of security control in those countries where the drug trade is particularly active, and to use them as fronts for its activities in money laundering and counterfeiting. .
Hezbollah has a long history of issuing forged documents and obtaining legitimate passports for inclusion in false documents for the benefit of its clients, which it did in Colombia, where its agent Salman Raouf Salman (involved in a bombing in Buenos Aires, Argentina) used a fake identity of a Colombian citizen named Samuel Salman al-Rida to work in peaceful Colombia.
For 24 years, Salman has benefited from the advantages of Colombian citizenship and during those years he has been issued passports to Panama, Venezuela, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru, Italy, France and America.
And in the spring of 2021, a Colombian newspaper revealed that a 10-year investigation revealed that Hezbollah members reside “legally” in Colombia and have “original” citizenship, and that a network of municipal secretaries raised more than $ 8 billion. to prepare documents for issuing fraudulent individuals with Colombian citizenship certificates through the “premature birth registration” service and that more than 70,000 fraudulent national data were provided to citizens of Venezuela, Cuba, China, Lithuania, Syria, Iran and Lebanese.
Hezbollah operatives who fraudulently obtained Colombian citizenship used the official documents they obtained to set up companies, which gave them unlimited protection and enabled their companies to use it as a commercial cover through which they raised money for the party. , distributed counterfeit dollars and carried out their terrorist operations.
For example, Amer Muhammad Aqeel, who runs the party’s operations in Colombia, manages coal exports from it to Lebanon (reports confirm that some shipments contained cocaine, especially since some of them had the necessary contacts not to be controlled, according to her. which was discovered by the agent associated with the Lebanese Amal movement, Hassan Mohsen Mansour – the husband of the granddaughter of the leader of the Amal Movement and the Lebanese parliament, Nabih Berri – who was arrested in France as part of his participation in the terrorist operation Cedar), and 80% of its revenue, according to a Colombian report, goes to financing Hezbollah, while the remaining 20% is invested in commercial operations in Colombia, particularly in connection with money laundering.
Colombian cartels have combined cocaine with charcoal to successfully avoid dogs that detect drugs and chemical tests since at least 1999.
Black cocaine, a substance made by Colombian cartel chemists in the form of camouflaged black bricks to look like coal, is used by cartels to facilitate international cocaine smuggling, and coal shipments have also been used to smuggle marijuana. , methamphetamine and Captagon.
A Colombian investigation led to the involvement of Amer Aqili’s relatives in the drug trade. In 2013, it became known that Amer was involved in the transportation of 500 kg of cocaine hidden in boxes with pineapples, worth $ 15 million, but El Salvador managed to stop the shipment. , which was delivered through Panama.
Experts do not rule out that given the ongoing and deep economic crisis that is ravaging Lebanon, it is also not possible to rule out the possibility that Hezbollah has exploited the coal trade to smuggle US currency into Lebanon.
The smell of coal can conquer the smell of drugs, so it is easy to pass through it drugs, even explosives and money, which makes it possible to use this trading tool to pass other goods that are easy to pass. was detected by trained dogs, e.g. as raw or explosive.
Hezbollah uses coal shipments to smuggle drugs and explosives
It is very active in Latin American countries
Its elements grow in those places and benefit from forged documents
He deals with devices that facilitate the passage of his deliveries without control
It is difficult to discover the drug hidden in the coal because of the tyranny of its smell