Nasrallah: Hezbollah is not active in the Lebanon exchange arena – Is that so?

Hezbollah – its involvement in the Lebanese exchange market and its place as a major factor in the Lebanese currency crisis

Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah stated in his 4th of May speech that Hezbollah is not active and is not involved to the Lebanon exchange arena. However, the direct and deep connection between Hezbollah’s financial units and institutions with the “MoradCo.” company, which acts as a money exchange belonging to a Hezbollah activist, completely contradict Nasrallah’s above statement:

In his speech on the 4th. of May, Nasrallah, among other things addressed the Lebanese exchange market in context of the economic crisis affecting the country. Nasrallah noted that Hezbollah has never been involved in the exchange market, that Hezbollah does not deal in the exchange arena, and that he never assigned any such financial activity to any institution or person in Hezbollah. Nasrallah added that Hezbollah does not buy and sell dollars with the intention of affecting the dollar exchange rate and that Hezbollah does not export dollars from Lebanon to other countries, on the contrary, Hezbollah imports dollars into Lebanon…

In an article published 10 May on the website “[1] among other things, it is noted that in recent days, Lebanese security forces have been working to restrain factors controlling the dollar rate in Lebanon (amid the dollar’s exchange rate of 4000 Lebanese pounds to one dollar). As part of the activities, the security forces arrested more than 40 moneychangers throughout Lebanon, including the Chairperson of the Lebanese Exchangers Association, Mahmoud Morad. Mahmoud Morad’s brother Yehya Morad is one of the prominent “actors” in the Lebanese “dollar arena”. The two brothers, manage the MoradCo Company, situated in the Ghobeiry area, a Hezbollah stronghold in the southern suburb of Beirut. MoradCo plays a large part in the rise of the dollar rate, since they buy the dollar at a higher price than the market rate.

Yehya Morad is a recognized Hezbollah activist in Hezbollah’s “unit 104” known as the “jihad financial unit” headed by Hajj Jihad. Hezbollah manages most of its currency transactions through MoradCo. Many Hezbollah operatives turn to MoradCo to convert their dollars into Lebanese pounds, since MoradCo purchases the dollar at a higher rate than other exchange companies do.

Hezbollah’s financial institutions, including the “Qardh al-Hassan” foundation, considered one of Hezbollah’s largest loan organizations, have a relationship with MoradCo. By selling MoradCo the dollars they receive in return for the loans given to their clients, they earn from the differential in the currency exchange rates.

Despite Nasrallah’s statements, the direct and deep relationship between Hezbollah’s financial unit and financial institutions and the MoradCo Company, engaged in money exchange belonging to a Hezbollah activist, points to the contrary. Hezbollah’s direct and deep involvement in the Lebanese exchange market, is most likely a major factor in the currency crisis in Lebanon.


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Tal Beeri

Tal Beeri

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