(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
SAO PAULO - Brazilian police have arrested a man designated by the US Treasury Department as a high-ranking Hezbollah financier after neighboring Paraguay sought his detention on identity theft charges, authorities in Brazil said on Friday.
In 2004, US authorities designated Assad Ahmad Barakat as one of Hezbollah's "most prominent and influential members." They said he had long served as a treasurer for the group and was an associate of the then-financial director of Hezbollah, a militant group based in Lebanon.
Brazilian federal police said in a Friday written statement that the country's Supreme Court authorized his arrest after Paraguayan authorities issued a warrant late in August.
Barakat was previously imprisoned in Paraguay from 2002 to 2008 on charges of tax evasion. After his release, Brazilian police said, Barakat lived in Brazil, and carried out business activities in Paraguay, Argentina, and Chile.
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