Dossier alleges top Maduro ally closely connected to drug-traffickers, Hezbollah efforts
News reports of the dire situation in Venezuela tend to focus on Nicolas Maduro and those protesting against him, but a New York Times feature this morning focused the spotlight on Tareck El Aissami and allegations against him of massive drug-trafficking and money laundering.
A hard-liner and close ally of Maduro, El Aissami has been previously identified by the U.S. of alleged drug-trafficking and money-laundering, but the Times report details how Venezuela’s own intelligence agency reached the same conclusions. A secret dossier compiled within Venezuela asserts that El Aissami not only participates as a major player in the production and trafficking of illegal drugs but that he has also worked to “sneak Hezbollah militants into the country.”
Informants cited in the extensive dossier describe El Aissami and his father “of recruiting Hezbollah members to help expand spying and drug trafficking networks in the region,” according to the Times.
U.S. officials for years have tracked the presence of the terrorist organization Hezbollah in South America. Their presence there has been focused on money laundering of drug-trafficking profits in order to support terror activities elsewhere.
El Aissami’s father, Carlos Zaidan El Aissami, is a Syrian immigrant known to have worked with Hezbollah in Syria, as well. Dossier documents allege that Tarek El Aissami supported his father’s efforts to bolster Hezbollah money laundering and spying providing residency permits and other official documents. El Aissami’s high position in the Maduro government has given him authority to deliver such prized status as official residence.
The dossier also implicates El Aissami’s brother, Feraz, who worked closely with a top Venezuelan drug lord. Feraz, at one point, possessed deposits of nearly $45 million at Swiss banks.
The U.S. government sanctioned El Aissami in 2017 and has frozen his assets. Allegations include drug trafficking and money laundering. The internal Venezuelan dossier, however, is the first to lay out in extensive details—and spanning years—the evidence against El Aissami and members of his family.
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