Anti-Money Laundering News and Information

Israel Defense Minister Beni Gantz signs order to seize $ 4 million transferred from Iran to Hamas

On the recommendation of the National Economic Counterterrorism Headquarters (Ministry of Defense) in the Ministry of Defense, Defense Minister Beni Gantz signed an order seizing $ 4 million US dollars transferred from Iran to the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip.

The money was intended for the development of Hamas’ terrorist infrastructure in Gaza, including the production of weapons and payment for the organization’s operatives, and originated in the Iranian government, which works against the State of Israel.

The order was issued against the Gazan businessman Zohir Shmalah and the exchange company “Almathadon” which he owns. A similar order was signed in February 2020, but in the wake of it and in order to blur its ties with Hamas, the Almathadon company changed its name and began operating under a new name: “Al-Merkazia LaLarapa”. The updated order includes, in addition to the name of the changer Zohir Shmalach and the company’s previous name, also the new name and details of the company.

The administrative seizure order signed by the Minister of Defense, by virtue of his authority under the Anti-Terrorism Law, 2016, enables the confiscation of funds of the exchange company wherever they are found or property worth.

Businessman Zohir Shmalah took the place of Hamed al-Khachari, Hamas’ main money changer who was close to Yahya Sinwar, and was thwarted by the IDF in May 2019.

The order will make it possible to take action against Zohir Shmalach and his family around the world, by restricting their physical movements in some countries, along with restricting the company’s financial activities by international financial entities.

The intelligence information that led to the signing of the order was formulated by the IDF Intelligence Division, in cooperation with the National Economic Counter-Terrorism Headquarters of the Ministry of Defense.

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December 26, 2020

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