A Fake Prince Was Arrested In Gauteng Amid FBI’s Hezbollah Drone Investigation — Nigeria Today
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A Fake Prince Was Arrested In Gauteng Amid FBI’s Hezbollah Drone Investigation

Gee-whiz, another week and we already have news of yet another international criminal investigation taking place in the country.

This time, it involves two Lebanese businessmen who have been accused by the US of “illegally exporting items to Hezbollah, which it classified as a terrorist organisation,” reports News24.

In case you have no idea, Hezbollah is a Shi’a Islamist political party and militant group based in Lebanon

Usama Darwich Hamade, 53, was arrested at his Kempton Park home, while his bother Issam Hamade, 55, was arrested at OR Tambo International Airport after he arrived from abroad.

The two are expected to appear at the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court on Monday, for allegedly illegally exporting components of drones:

A third suspect, Samir Ahmed Berro, 64, who has Lebanese and British citizenship, is yet to be arrested.

The details emerged during a press statement last week, made by the US Attorney’s office for the District of Minnesota.

It detailed how Issam Hamade [above], also known as Prince Sam and who previously claimed to be Lebanese royalty, “allegedly lied, saying digital compasses for drones were needed in SA for anti-poaching operations”:

But the statement said these were actually destined for Hezbollah “co-conspirators in Lebanon”.

And South Africa, according to a US indictment, was a “transit point through which some of these items – including items which could be used in drones – were channelled”:

The indictment, which also reveals that a person identified simply as Individual A, a South African citizen and resident, apparently unwittingly ordered components which can be used in drones and jets, some of which arrived in the country, but which were then allegedly sent to Lebanon.

According to US court documents, dollars were also said to have been transferred to South African company bank accounts for the apparent purchasing of the items.

Others countries involved in the case include Japan, Germany and Lebanon:

Investigations have been carried out by the US’s Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Commerce Office of Export Enforcement, and Homeland Security Investigations.

In SA, the Hawks, Crime Intelligence, and Ekurhuleni Metro Police have been involved. It was confirmed last week Tuesday, by national police spokesperson Vishnu Naidoo, that the brothers were in custody:

“The normal extradition process will be followed,” he said, in reference to the US wanting the Hamade brothers to be extradited to stand trial in Minnesota.

Naidoo left it at that and would not divulge any further information, including whether more arrests were expected in SA.

You can read more about the accused’s alleged actions here.


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