The Al-Fadel Exchange Company – a Key Financial Instrument in the Service of Elements of the Radical Shiite Axis in Syria

Al Fadel logo

In addition to the military efforts in Syria, the Shiite axis is also active in economic efforts. The money exchange method (the exchange market) constitutes a conduit for the transfer and use of funds without these being exposed to international sanctions permitting them to become a legitimate source of funding for the Shia axis’ activities in Syria.

Recently, there have been indications that elements of the Shiite axis in Syria, including Lebanese Hezbollah, are investing efforts to take over the foreign exchange market, especially in the Aleppo region. This is done through the Al-Fadel Exchange Company (شركة الفاضل للصرافة), which is registered in Syria. Through the Syrian foreign exchange market, the company’s branches insert about 5 billion Syrian pounds daily into the city of Aleppo alone (about $2 million).

Al-Fadel was established in 2010. In 2015, it went public and was issued on the stock exchange.[1] The company’s headquarters are located in Damascus, and the company’s main shareholders are Muhammad Ma’aruf Balwi and Fadel Ma’aruf Balwi. The company’s CEO is Muti’ Balwi.[2]

The dominant man in the company is Muhammad Ma’aruf Balwi. Muhammad is 41 years old; According to his Facebook page, he is currently a resident of Damascus. Married to Fatima Muhammad Balwi.[3]

Muhammad Ma’aruf Balwi (“Hajj Muhammad” /”Abu-Matayem”) [4] [5]

In addition to its headquarters, the company has three other branches in Syria: another branch in Damascus – in the Al-Meza area, a branch in Aleppo, and a branch in Latakia.[6] The company also has an extension in the Dahiya neighborhood in Beirut.

The main branch in Damascus is headed by Muqtada Balwi (مقتدى بلوي), a resident of the Shi’ite village of Nubl (نبل) in northern Aleppo. The village is identified with the Syrian Ba’ath party, Shiite axis, and Hezbollah elements. [7] [8] The Balwi family is one of the privileged families in the village, and many of its members have been identified in recent years as associates of the Shiite axis in Syria. [9] [10] [11] [12]

A parade in the village of Nubl (photos of Assad, Nasrallah, and the Hezbollah flag can be seen) February 2020 [13]

All of the company’s branch managers in Syria are directly affiliated with the head manager – Muqtada Balwi. The latter works in coordination with the company’s office in Dahiya in Beirut, which is called the “al-Fadel exchange” or “Zine El Abidine office” (مكتب زين العابدين).[14]

In August 2021, the New York Times reported that in 2019 several companies experienced cyberattacks by an anonymous group of hackers.[15] The companies attacked were identified as operating in the service of the Revolutionary Guards in general and in the service of the Quds Force in particular. Among the companies attacked was the “Al Fadel” company.

Al-Fadel has been operating for many years in the service of the radical Shiite axis in Syria. According to our recent analysis, sanctions have not yet been imposed on the company or its officials. Imposing sanctions on Al-Fadl will help undermine the entrenchment efforts of the radical Shiite axis in Syria (civilian and military).
















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Tal Beeri

Tal Beeri

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