Long-time readers of this blog know that I have been writing about the Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay Tri-Border Area (TBA) for nearly a decade. According to Infobae, Lebanon-based Hezbollah generates at least $10million/year from drugs and weapons trafficking, but Hezbollah’s total take may be much larger.
This 2003 report on the Tri-Border Area (TBA) report prepared by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress under an Interagency Agreement with the Director of Central Intelligence Crime and Narcotics Center,
During the 1999-2001 period, Islamic extremist groups, specifically Hizballah and Hamas, received a total of between US$50 million and US$500 million from Arab residents of Foz do Iguaçu through Paraguayan financial institutions.105 An investigation begun in September 2001 also determined that a group of 42 Arabs in Ciudad del Este remitted abroad, mostly to Lebanon, approximately US$50 million, apparently during the 1997-2001 period. It is believed that these funds were derived from arms trafficking and other illicit activities.
Now it appears human trafficking has been added to the trade:
The Daily Mail reports that the five Syrians arrested in Honduras with fake Greek passports paid US$10,000 each to travel to the South American Tri-Border area.
The five men departed Syria for Brazil via Lebanon. Once in Brazil, they were given fake Greek passports. From there, they went to the TBA near Iguazu Falls, where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay meet and reached Argentina by land. From Argentina, they flew to Costa Rica and Honduras, but missed their connecting flight to the northern Honduras city of San Pedro Sula, just 20 miles from the border with Guatemala.
The plan was to reach the U.S. by crossing through Guatemala and Mexico. Their lawyer claims they wanted to stay in Guatemala as a final destination.
The Daily Mail has details and video:
EXCLUSIVE – Extraordinary lengths five young Syrian men went to in bid to enter US amid ISIS fears: Greek passports forged in Brazil, hopping from country to country and not checking luggage to avoid scrutiny. The five Syrians were arrested in Honduras with forged Greek passports
- Men obtained stolen documents in Brazil and had their photos added on
- Officials believe they were making their way towards the United States
- Only had hand luggage with them to avoid checks as they made journey
- After missing a flight because of delays, they were found to not be Greek
- Men are not considered terrorists, Honduran officials tell Daily Mail Online
- Men fled Syria after fears they would be kidnapped by ISIS, police say
Last May I wrote,
The Infobae report states that Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro is Hezbollah’s strategic partner, having cemented the late Hugo Chávez’s ties with Hezbollah and Iran.
If that doesn’t got your attention, note that the report also talks about the growing ties with Mexican drug cartels – which are in charge of human traffic across the border – and the terrorist group for bringing into the U.S. Islamic terrorists, in exchange for weapons.
I am not alleging that the five Syrians detained in Honduras are themselves involved in terrorist activities. Clearly,
The men are now not considered terrorists, Honduran officials told Daily Mail Online
However, the route they took and the amounts of money involved point to the likely involvement of Hezbollah in their transport.
Official: 3 Syrians With Fake IDs Detained in St. Maarten (emphasis added)
Officials said the three Syrians had traveled from Europe then stopped in Brazil, the Dominican Republic and Haiti before entering St. Maarten. It is unclear where they were headed.