Syrian Accountant’s Alleged Hezbollah Fronts

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A Syrian accountant has founded a series of alleged Hezbollah fronts in and around Damascus, according to open source data reviewed by Levant Networks.

Al-Iqtisadi, a business journal based out of the UAE that maintains a database of Syrian companies, notes that Firas Sunduq was the founding partner of Tawafuk LLC, Nagham al-Hayat LLC, and the Talaqi Group.

All three of these firms were sanctioned by the US in September 2019 for being owned and controlled by Muhammad al-Bazzal, who Washington accuses of being a Hezbollah official faciliating Iranian oil shipments on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Qods Force.

“Since late 2018, al-Bazzal has leveraged his companies, including Talaqi Group, to finance and coordinate various IRGC-QF-linked oil shipments,” the US Department of the Treasury said in a press release.

Sunduq’s corporate ties extend beyond Bazzal to a firm outside Damascus that appears to be owned by another alleged Hezbollah facilitator.

Orient Star LLC, founded September 2016 in the Damascus suburb of Yalda, is co-owned by Sunduq and Lebanese national Ali Abd al-Nur Shalan.

In 2015, the US sanctioned a Lebanese national named Abd al-Nur Ali Shalan for allegedly serving as Hezbollah’s “point person for the procurement and transshipment of weapons and materiel for the group and its Syrian partners.”

“Shalan ensures items purchased for Hizballah personnel in Syria make it through customs. In 2014, Shalan used his business cover to hide weapons-related materiel in Syria for Hezbollah,” the US said at the time.

Shalan is reportedly close to Mohammad Qasir, another Hezbollah official responsible for weapon shipments from Syria, who the US said is an associate of Bazzal. 

Shalan’s business partner Sunduq, born in 1980 in Damascus, is a licensed accountant holding a degree from Damascus University. Starting July 2016, Sunduq has rented a property in Yalda that has served as the registered address for Orient Star LLC. 

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