Lebanese businessman Merhi Abou Merhi speaks in Beirut, Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Federal prosecutors in the United States have reportedly cleared renowned Lebanese businessman Merhi Abou Merhi of charges of helping Hezbollah and links to a Columbian drug-trafficking network.Abou Merhi was blacklisted by U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control in October along with three other Lebanese, two Germans and 11 companies for facilitating the activities and having ties to a maritime network tied to the "Joumaa Criminal Organization," which has links with Hezbollah.When the listing was announced, the Treasury claimed that the Lebanese and German individuals provided support for narcotics trafficking and money laundering activities conducted by Lebanese-Colombian drug trafficker and money launderer Ayman Saied Joumaa, key Joumaa associate Hassan Ayash, and the Joumaa criminal organization.
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