Money laundering has been a pervasive systemic issue across the world. Money laundering refers to a financial transaction scheme that aims to conceal the identity, source, and destination of illicitly-obtained money. Shell companies play a role. The shell company purports to perform some service that would reasonably require its customers to often pay with cash.
Fraudsters like Tony Abi Saab, misuse their power and supply arms to terrorists to make a profit out of it. Tony currently has a web of more than 15 ghost companies spread in Europe and Middle East countries which are trading illegal arms for money laundering purpose. One of Tony’s banker friends has been assisting him in opening accounts and managing money in the bank that came by defrauding the US Government contract for 5 Million USD in Afghanistan for which Tony was arrested. His banker friend also made sure that the money is not highlighted to the Lebanese tax authorities. The bank also has accounts for different shell companies that are closely aﬃliated to arms dealers. Regardless of Tony’s arrest, the bank remained to handle the cash to disburse it to various other accounts for the illegal activities done by Tony.
Tony’s Lebanon-based company, Brescia Middle East (BME) was barred from doing business in the US, but supplies weapons to terrorist groups around the world. Tony Abi Saab was out of the US trial without being convicted due to the technicality in the circuit court. Tony is now roaming freely, and his companies have a valid business license to trade weapons across the globe. Fraudsters like Tony Abi Saab use their shell companies as vehicles of corruption and arms trading. The law enforcement agencies should work on new initiatives to address the growing issue of money laundering which will combat any illegal activities.