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Avi Paz names two traders whom the bourse members should never trade with
The two traders have been on the U.S. Department of the Treasury terrorist list
By: Diamond World News Service
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May 29 2009 2:25PM
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Reference: 3856  

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Avi Paz, president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), has requested all the bourse members not to trade under any circumstances with Kassim Tajideen and Abd Al Menhem Qubaysi, two Africa-based supporters of the Hezbollah terrorist organization, who have been placed on the U.S. Department of the Treasury's terrorist list. The U.S. has announced a freeze on the assets, which the two traders may have under U.S. jurisdiction and is prohibiting Americans from carrying out any business with them.

One amongst the two, Tajideen, has contributed over tens of millions of dollars to Hezbollah and has sent funds to the organisation via his brother, a Hezbollah commander in Lebanon. Hezbollah operates a network of businesses in Lebanon and Africa and Tajideen along with his brothers runs cover companies for Hezbollah in Africa.

Belgium's Economic Crimes Unit arrested Tajideen and several officials of his company Soafrimex in Antwerp in May 2003 following a four month international investigation. The firm's bank accounts were frozen, and several weeks later the police also arrested his wife Huda Saad. Tajideen was then arrested on suspicion of fraud, money laundering, and trade in diamonds of doubtful origin to the value of tens of millions of euros.

The second, Abd Al Menhem Qubaysi is a Cote d'Ivoire-based supporter of Hezbollah and the personal representative of Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah. He has constant networking with the leaders of Hezbollah and has hosted senior officials of the terrorist group traveling to Cote d'Ivoire and other parts of Africa to raise money for Hezbollah. He speaks at Hezbollah fundraising events and sponsors meetings with high-ranking members of the organisation and has helped establish an official Hezbollah foundation in Cote d'Ivoire, which is used to recruit new members for Hezbollah's military ranks in Lebanon.

"It is quite clear that these two Lebanese traders have been involved in a range of illegal activities and that they have nothing whatsoever to do with the legitimate diamond trade," said Avi Paz. "WFDB members should have absolutely no contact with them since they are clearly involved in terrorism and they are using the diamond trade as a cover for their criminal activities," he added.

"We will continue to take steps to protect the financial system from the threat posed by Hezbollah and those who support it," says Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey. "Not only is Hezbollah itself a terrorist organization with global reach, it also recently acknowledged publicly that it provides support to Hamas."

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