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Paraguay is a major hub of illicit finance. The epicenter of Hezbollah activity in South America is the Tri-Border Area of Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil, which the just-released annual State Department International Narcotics Control Strategy Report describes as “the center of a multi-billion-dollar illicit goods trade, including marijuana cultivation, the trafficking of Andean coc aine, and arms smuggling that facilitates significant money laundering in Paraguay.” Hezbollah is running amok in Paraguay’s own backyard, yet its government refuses to acknowledge the group’s presence, let alone take action.
U.S. authorities allege that a key figure in this giant scheme is Nader Mohamad Farhat, a Lebanese-Brazilian arrested in May 2018 by Paraguayan police at Washington’s behest. Since then, the U.S. Department of Justice has patiently waited for his extradition.