Latin American media reports confirmed that there are more than 100 sleeper cells affiliated with the Lebanese Hezbollah in Latin America and that they are spreading in the Triple Frontier; the tri-border between Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay and in other areas on the Venezuelan-Columbian border.
The Triple Frontier is considered one of the most dangerous areas in the world due to the thriving drug trafficking and money laundering activities that take place there. hezbollah
The Argentinian newspaper La Nación mentioned that Hezbollah has managed to penetrate the region over the years and has formed a large network of relations and interests linked to drug trafficking. It added that the organisation has relied on members of the Lebanese community for this.
The report indicates that the US Drug Enforcement Administration has officially informed members of the US Congress that it has evidence that proves Hezbollah’s involvement in huge drug trafficking operations around the world. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration’s director of operations Michael Brown said that the organisation, backed by Iran, has managed to move large shipments of drugs across Latin America and also to Europe as part of money laundering operations, Asharq Al-Awsat reported.
The reports also suggest that the policies established by the former Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez paved the way for the formation of these cells in Latin American countries. It is known that the period during which the Leftist president ruled the country was a golden age for Iranian-Latin American relations.
Hezbollah sending cocaine to Latin America
Hezbollah’s terrorism finance operations are thriving across Latin America months after the Drug Enforcement Administration linked the Iran-backed Lebanese militant group to drug cartels in the region, U.S. lawmakers were told Wednesday.
Former DEA operations chief Michael Braun said Hezbollah is “moving [multiple] tons of cocaine” from South America to Europe and has developed “the most sophisticated money laundering scheme or schemes that we have ever witnessed.”
The agency announced in February that it had arrested several Hezbollah operatives accused of working with a major Colombian drug cartel to traffic drugs to Europe and launder money through Lebanon. Those arrests come against a backdrop of rising fears in Washington about smuggling connections between Middle East terrorist groups and the Western Hemisphere.
Hezbollah has “metastasized into a hydra with international connections that the likes of [the Islamic State] and groups like al Qaeda could only hope to have,” Mr. Braun told the House Financial Services Committee.
Adding to concerns about security threats from Central and South America, intelligence reports have also tracked how smugglers managed to sneak illegal immigrants from the Middle Eastern and South Asia straight to the doorstep of the U.S. — including helping one Afghan who U.S. authorities say was part of an attack plot in North America.
Immigration officials identified at least a dozen Middle Eastern men smuggled into the Western Hemisphere by a Brazilian-based network that connected them with Mexicans who guided them to the U.S. border, according to internal government documents reviewed this month by The Washington Times.