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US sanctions local firm under new law by congress
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The United States imposed sanctions yesterday on Ali Youssef Charara and his locally-based telecommunications company for providing support to Hezbollah. This is the first such designation made under a law signed by President Barack Obama last month.

Charara is the chairman of Spectrum Investment Group Holding SAL, which was founded in 2003. Charara owns half of the company. The other shareholders are Mohamed Youssef Charara and Ali Ibrahim Charara.

The U.S. Treasury Department said that the company provides telecommunications services in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. Charara has received millions of dollars from Hezbollah to invest in commercial projects that financially support the group, the department said in a statement. The U.S. action freezes Charara and his company’s assets that are in the United States or in the control of Americans and prohibits Americans from engaging in transactions with them.

The new U.S. law, called the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015, strengthened U.S. authorities’ ability to target Hezbollah and threatened consequences for those who help the group, the Treasury Department said.
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Date Posted: Jan 08, 2016