As per a report, a terrorist group which has the support of Iran is undertaking money laundering operations in Latin America around the Tri-Border Area. The presence of illegal activities in the area adjoining Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay has been a major source of consternation for US security officials.
According to this report, the black market economy in this region has been estimated to generate around $43 billion annually. That is more than the entire GDP of Paraguay. Hezbollah, a terrorist organization supported by Iran, has been particularly active here. It has been using its portion of the money laundering operations for skilling US citizens and allies all around the world.
The money that is reaching Hezbollah from the illicit Lebanese networks should be concern to the authorities in US. This is especially since the Trump administration is increasing the pressure on the Iranian state as well as its proxies.
Hezbollah may also be taking advantage of Venezuela’s current conditions for expanding its influence and operations north. Reports show that Tareck El Aissami, the Vice President of Venezuela, has started amassing influence inside the country due to the rising public opposition to Nicolás Maduro, the President of Venezuela. Some even believe that he is currently the best choice for replacing Maduro eventually.
However, this is a worrying trend since there have been accusations against Aissami. It is believed that he had issued passports to a few hundred operatives of Hezbollah between 2008 and 2012.
Hezbollah is continuing to increase its ties with criminal organizations in the region. This will make it easier for the terrorists to traffic and supply weapons, drugs and other illegal substances into the United Nations.