Even in Tulsa. “Terrorism investigation in Tulsa,” from Fox23,
A Tulsa auto business is among companies named in a federal complaint that accuses 30 U.S. car buyers of being in league with a money laundering operation that pumped more than $300 million into the financial system to benefit the militant group Hezbollah.
Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman Rusty Payne said that Ace Auto Leasing Inc. was among companies whose businesses were used to help launder drug money that helped finance Hezbollah.
Payne said, “Those moneys were laundered into some exchange houses in Lebanon and have been for a long time.”
He added, “This is the perfect intersection of the nexus between drug trafficking and terrorism.”
The companies would send cars to west Africa to be sold at a profit, with some money going back to the businesses to buy more cars to ship.
Payne said profits from drug trafficking were laundered into the operation as well, helping fund the militant group. Ace Auto Leasing has recieved more than $20 million from the Lebanon exchange houses.
Payne said, “You have used car dealerships across the country receiving transfers from shady exchange houses that are Hezbollah backed and are working with Hezbollah and the Lebonese Canadian bank.”
He added, “When you see a used car lot with 10-50 cars on it, do you think $20 million sent to them is normal?”
Dr. John Swails, director for the Center for Israel and Middle East Studies said this has been boiling under the surface for some time.
He said, “The big surprise is that we’ve caught so many or they have bungled their attempts.”
Dr. Swails added, “I think Hezbollah knew it was happening because they started capturing CIA agents so they may have seen it coming.”
While this is not a reason to panic, Dr. Swails and DEA officials say problems like this are not going away.
Payne said, “There’s only one more group that has killed more Americans and that’s Al-Qaeda. Hezbollah is number two.”
Dr. Swails said, “The people who hate the United States are out there and they’re coming relentlessly so we have to accept the fact… We have to be on our guard.”
The investigation continues. No official charges have been filed.