ASUNCION (AFP) – Interpol said Tuesday it has arrested a Lebanese national suspected of funneling money to the Shiite militant group Hezbollah in Paraguay in the tri-border area with Argentina and Brazil.
Moussa Hamdan, 38, was arrested in Ciudad del Este, part of the Triple Frontier, a region the United States has repeatedly cited as being exploited by militant groups that “finance terrorist activities.”
Local media, citing local security officials, said Hamdan was financing Hezbollah, which fought a devastating 2006 war with Israel and is blacklisted as a terror group by Washington.
The Interpol chief in Paraguay, Jose Chena, said justice officials would decide within about six weeks whether to extradite Hamdan to the United States, where an arrest warrant has been issued against him.
A cosmopolitan area and significant tourist spot, the Triple Frontier is also considered a major spot for smuggling and other organized crime. Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina deny their shared region is a hotbed for terror financing.
The three countries have refused to cooperate in the production of Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow’s latest project in a film tentatively titled “Triple Frontier” over concerns the movie could damage their countries’ reputation with tourists.
A significant Arab population lives in the region, with a big presence in Ciudad del Este.