Hamas Has Hundreds of Millions of Secret Foreign Investments: Report

Hamas is hiding hundreds of millions of dollars worth of secret foreign investments in seemingly legitimate businesses, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

Furthermore, if the West cracks down on these investments and the countries that facilitate them, some of the destructive activities of the Gaza-based terror group could be affected, according to the Double Check website and former Mossad officials.

Intelligence information indicates that from the early 2000s to 2018, Hamas controlled some 40 business companies in Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Algeria and Sudan, Double Check reported.

Most of the companies involved belong to the real estate and infrastructure sectors. Through corporations, Hamas manages large projects and has a reliable way of hiding around $ 500 million in assets, according to the article.

Palestinian Hamas militants participate in an anti-Israel rally in Gaza City on May 22, 2021 (credit: REUTERS / MOHAMMED SALEM)

Double Check was established to “provide a service for business and intelligence companies, as well as financial and regulatory bodies interested in conducting legitimate business activities and avoiding illegal deals,” its website says.

Although there is little information about the staff who run the website, much of their information is based on intelligence sources, the Post understands.

Before 2015, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Sudan, and other Gulf states allowed Hamas to use their commercial and banking sectors to raise funds that could later be used for its terrorist activities.

But between 2015 and 2016, the Saudis changed positions, prompting Hamas to move most of its investment operations to Turkey.

Algeria remains a major source of foreign investment income for Hamas, according to the report.

Sudan appears to have cut much of its support for these activities since the warming of relations between Jerusalem and Khartoum in 2020.

“Hamas has chosen to manage its secret investment portfolio in Turkey due to Turkey’s weak financial system, which allows Hamas to hide its money laundering activity and tax infractions from regulatory bodies,” Double Check reported.

“The details of the Hamas operatives mentioned in the documents of the portfolio companies demonstrate that it is a fake portfolio,” the report says. In total, there are nine Hamas agents who are members of more than 18 companies. One operative holds key positions in up to 13 different companies, all controlled by Hamas’s secret investment portfolio. “

Hamas has been designated a terrorist organization in the United States, the EU, and many other countries.

The Double Check investigation uncovered how Hamas “managed to systematically mislead tax authorities, institutions and clients in Europe and the Middle East over two decades by establishing its financial investment portfolio.”

Although the information from Double Check only runs through 2018 for the purpose of declassifying and publishing the information, similar activities by Hamas continue to this day, the Mail has learned.

Banks that have facilitated this Hamas scheme include Al Ahli Bank, Abu Dhabi Bank, Al Masri Bank, and Qatar Bank. Regarding the Abu Dhabi Bank, the Post understands that even if Israel and the UAE have normalized relations, it does not mean that the Emirates have cut all ties with Israel’s adversaries.

Hamas uses these assets to finance its terrorist activity and its military reinforcement, including the acquisition of weapons.

The companies use deception to “apparently conduct legitimate and innocent activity,” Double Check reported. “They have business links with major international companies and banks in Europe, report to tax authorities, manage their accounting records and work with banks, insurance companies, suppliers and clients on a regular basis.”

However, the entities “are actually controlled by members of Hamas,” which cleverly “exploits lenient regulations in the countries in which it operates and endangers banks, insurance companies, accounting firms, and other providers. of financial services by spilling funds used to support terror into their systems without their knowledge, ”the report says.

“Trend Gyo, controlled by Hamas, has five subsidiaries in Turkey,” he said. “Senior investment portfolio officials hold high-ranking dual positions at all five companies.”

Trend Gyo is a Turkish public property development and investment company listed on the Istanbul Stock Exchange and is also known by its former name Anda-Turk / Anda Gayrimenkul, according to the report.

It is a subsidiary of the Saudi company Anda, which is owned by Hamas.

Anda has ties to the Saudi company Asyaf, which was designated by the US Treasury in September 2015 under Executive Order 13324 for its involvement in financing Hamas terrorism, Double Check said.

The leader of Hamas’ global foreign investment efforts is Ahed Sharif Abdullah Odeh, who was born in Jordan.

Odeh is one of six Hamas operatives who are partners in the Turkish company Uzmanlar Co. and sit on its board of directors.

Uzmanlar Co. is a construction company and a subsidiary of Anda Gayrimenkul Co., which was established in 2001 and with Ahmad Jahleb, another Hamas operative, as its CEO.

This company established two subsidiaries in 2014. One of them imports and exports air conditioners and elevators, and the other is in the tourism sector.

In the past, Uzmanlar Co. had not only operated in Turkey, but also in Jordan, Dubai and Saudi Arabia.

Odeh is said to be a key official in some nine Hamas front companies.

The next most important figure in Hamas’ global fundraising operations is Hisham Yunis Ichiyeh Qafisheh, who serves as an accounting architect or brain of the operation, according to the report.

Qafisheh has long held Palestinian and Jordanian citizenship and more recently also obtained Turkish citizenship. He is the chairman of the board of directors of IYS Yapi Co., a contracting company in Turkey.

Its CEO is Hamas operative Walid Jadallah, and the company is also a subsidiary of Trend Gyo.

Qafisheh is also listed as a director or key shareholder in a dozen other Hamas front companies.

Ibrahim Jaber is a key figure for the global scheme, but he is not mentioned in the Double Check documents because he resides in Gaza and is the key person in coordinating much of its logistical and operational problems there.

Documents that Double Check obtained from intelligence sources reveal Hamas accounting reports and balances for companies in the secret portfolio.

According to these documents, some of which are displayed on the Double Check website, the Hamas balance sheet contains the names of the companies under Hamas control, with the names of its “operatives” and “facilitators.”

The “operatives” refer to long-standing Hamas members, while the “facilitators” refer to individuals who are not members of Hamas but are routinely used in the foreign investment scheme, some knowingly helping Hamas and others without knowing it.

“The trial balance includes accounts receivable and accounts payable, and accounts that are financially managed with the company,” the report says. “This shows the financial participation of the main Hamas members in the investment portfolio.”

Hamas views its secret portfolio as a strategic asset and financial insurance policy, giving it access to hundreds of millions of dollars when needed, without exposing the scale or source of the funds.

Having those funds gives Hamas some independence from its benefactors, such as Iran. This helps Hamas make its own decisions without too many conditions attached to foreign financial support.

Despite this, “Hamas continues to rely primarily on terrorist financing from Iran” for ongoing military operations and, meanwhile, “rarely uses the money from the investment portfolio, preferring to save it for emergencies,” Double Check said. .

According to Uzi Shaya, a former senior financial warfare officer in the Israeli intelligence community, in recent years, “one of Israel’s most powerful tools to combat terrorists and damage its finances has weakened. An issue that was given strategic importance has been neglected to the point of being, at best, a tactical consideration ”.

“The climax of this process has been the transfer of millions of dollars in cash by the State of Israel to the Hamas organization,” he said.

“Hamas’s financial arm was established in the early 2000s and has laundered millions of dollars,” Shaya said, adding that this financial scheme and mechanism recently “has not only not shrunk, but has grown significantly along the way. over the years. “

“The State of Israel must act and go back to basics where financially damaging various terrorist organizations is an important part of damaging those organizations,” he said.

If the United States and the West increase financial pressure on Hamas’s foreign investments, it could significantly damage the organization’s terrorist potential and extended rounds of conflict with Israel, Shaya said.

The Defense Ministry declined to respond to a request for comment from the Mail.



Reference-www.jpost.com

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