Money laundering scheme uncovered in Togo

19/12/2011
Money laundering scheme uncovered in Togo

The togolese justice delivered on Monday international arrest warrants against several resident aliens living in Togo and suspected of engaging in money laundering activities ties to drug trafficking. These individuals were using companies specialized in the import of second-hand cars to cover their activities.

This decision come in several days after the lawsuit filed by the american authorities against lebanese financial establishments accused of having abetted the laundering of 483 million dollars for the terrorist movement Hezbollah, via the US and Africa, linked to drug trafficking.

Togo has not waited for this affair to engage in a fierce battle against drug traffickin, money laundering and the war on terror. The authorities benefit of the support of foreign agencies for the exchange of information and technical assistance.

The lawsuit filed by the south district court of NY targets the Lebanese Canadian Bank, Ellisa Holding Company, Hassan Ayash Exchange Company, Cybamar Swiss GMBH, Nomeco SARL, Marco SARL et Salhab Travel Agency.

The money coming from the drug trafficking was wired from Lebanon to the US were it served to purchase second-hand cars that were then brought to Africa chiefly to Cotonou (Benin) where they were sold on parkings, including one belonging to Elissa Holding.

An important part of the cash was then sent back to Lebanon through a complex financial scheme set up by Hezbollah that passed through Togo and Ghana. Part of the money went directly through Hezbollah according to the American judicial authorities.

An operational agent of Hezbollah, Oussama Salhab, headed the Togo network.

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