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World News | Israel Seizes Cryptocurrencies Allegedly Used to Fund Hezbollah and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards


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JERUSALEM, June 27 (AP) — The Israeli government said Tuesday it seized millions of dollars in cryptocurrency from accounts suspected of being a powerful arm of Iran’s military and the Iran-backed Hezbollah militant group. Send or receive funds. Lebanon.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said he had ordered the seizure of cryptocurrency wallets and the transfer of funds to the Israeli government.

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He called the “widespread” operation the first time Israel has targeted the Hezbollah militant group and the elite Quds Force of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard Corps – two groups vowing to destroy Israel. Both are designated terrorist organizations by the U.S. and some other governments and are excluded from the traditional global financial system.

Galante said it was a multi-agency effort involving Israel’s Mossad spy agency, Israel’s Military Intelligence, the Israeli police and others.

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Israel has previously seized cryptocurrencies belonging to the paramilitary wing of Gaza’s Hamas ruler as part of a counterterrorism financing investigation.

“This is the first time something of this magnitude has happened,” Gallant said, noting that the action took place earlier in the week. “We have effectively cut off the flow of terrorist funding through this channel.”

Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Israeli statement.

Galante claimed that Hezbollah and the Quds Force rely on virtual currencies to fund their militant activities. Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are favored by illicit transactions because they are difficult to trace. Anyone in the world can create a Bitcoin account and start receiving digital funds without giving a name or address.

Countries facing U.S. sanctions, such as Israel’s regional foe Iran, have been working to create their own cryptocurrencies to circumvent financial restrictions.

Galante said Israel’s seizure of illicit funds should serve as a warning to “anyone financing terror” because Israeli authorities have developed tools and technology that can identify those involved in so-called blockchain transactions. (Associated Press)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a syndicated news feed, the latest staff may not have revised or edited the body of content)


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