Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Cash cow

Israelis are intending to sue banks who they say helped fund Hezbollah by letting two of its alleged front organizations perform money transfers prior to and during Lebanon's 33-day war with Israel in 2006, reports Canada.com.

The front groups in question are the Yousser Company for Finance and Investment and the Martyrs Foundation, both of which have been identified by the U.S. Treasury Department as terrorist financiers.

"The bank knew these organizations were both organs of the Hezbollah… and yet continued to let them transfer millions of dollars," said Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, a lawyer with Darshan-Leitner & Associates, an Israeli-based firm working for the plaintiffs.

"We deny the allegations," said Tina Al-Hattouni, LCB's main representative in Montreal. She said she wouldn't comment further because bank officials in Lebanon have not yet received notice that a class action suit has been filed. LCB has a Montreal office, but no Canadian branches or accounts.

The four plaintiffs are claiming more than $6 million collectively in damages.