Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Saturday, August 31, 2019


Lebanon's Jammal Trust Bank (JTB), recently sanctioned by OFAC, has denied that it knowingly and regularly facilitated banking services for Hezbollah and asserted that it has strictly followed international Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Terrorist financing regulations, and regulations of the Central Bank of Lebanon. One US official labeled Jamal "Hezbollah's Bank of Choice."

The bank has indicated that it will now seek removal of the OFAC SDN designation. If it takes that step, the process with begin with the filing of a petition for removal. Note well that there is no right of access to the evidence on which the designation was based. If there is a denial, or no action is taken over an extended period of time, you can expect that suit will be filed in US District Court, though such court actions rarely succeed, as our reporting of such cases on this blog has proven. Most plaintiffs frankly deserve to be designated. In many cases, National Security issues seem to affect the outcome, as the courts appear to defer when the facts presented place the matter in that category.

While the evidence is obviously classified, Treasury's linking of JTB to Hezbollah, for providing of services to the terrorist group's Executive Council, as well as Hezbollah-linked and controlled entities, appears to have a factual basis. JTB Bank's actions, if we look at recent relevant cases, will probably be futile. 

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