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Cablegate: Terrorist Finance - Barakat: Brazilian Ministry

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L BRASILIA 001524

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EB/ESC/TFS - GLASS
STATE FOR S/CT - NAVRATIL
TREASURY FOR OFAC - NEWCOMB
TREASURY FOR ZARATE
TREASURY FOR FINCEN - SHOWELL

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/14/2015
TAGS: ETTC EFIN PTER PREL CVIS XM BR LE LVPR
SUBJECT: TERRORIST FINANCE - BARAKAT: BRAZILIAN MINISTRY
OF JUSTICE ON BARAKAT

REF: A. STATE 124995

B. BRASILIA 1490

Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Richard Virden, Reasons 1.4 (b)
and (d).

1. (C) Emboffs made ref A points on Hizballah financier
Barakat to Brazilian Deputy Justice Minister Barreto in a
June 21 meeting, following up on previous meetings with the
Foreign Ministry (ref B). Barreto said he would like to find
a way to be helpful on the Barakat case. Recalling that the
GoB had investigated Barakat's finances after the Paraguayan
extradition request, Barreto said they had found nothing
suspicious in his occasional remittances to Lebanon, which
were of amounts on the order of $500 to $1000. Barreto
agreed to ask COAF, Brazil's financial intelligence unit, to
conduct a new investigation into Barakat's Brazilian assets,
looking in particular for suspicious activity since Barakat's
extradition to Paraguay.

2. (C) Barreto suggested that the quickest and most practical
avenue to freeze any Barakat assets in Brazil would be for
Paraguay to make a formal request pursuant to the Mercosul
legal assistance protocol, based on Barakat's tax evasion
conviction in Paraguay. This would allow a Brazilian judge
to act quickly. Barreto said the GoB had not to date
received the sort of specific evidence of Barakat's terrorism
finance activities that would enable it to bring charges
against him or to enable a judge to freeze or seize his
assets. He pointed out that if the USG were to bring its own
criminal charges against Barakat for terror finance, the GoB
could then freeze his assets pursuant to a USG request under
our MLAT. Barreto agreed to look into whether Brazilian law
would allow the GoB to take action based on the general
exhortation in UNSC 1373 that UN members take action to stop
the financing of terrorism -- but he reiterated that the GoB
has no formal evidence indicating Barakat's terrorism links.

3. (C) Comment: Barreto was forthcoming and disposed to try
to find a pragmatic way to help. He repeated the request
made by the Foreign Ministry (ref A) for specifics on the
terrorist finance charge and on Barakat assets in Brazil to
facilitate a GoB investigation.

HRINAK

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