Israel seizes cryptocurrency used to finance Hezbollah and Iran's Revolutionary Guards

Israel's Defense Minister Yoav Galant said he ordered the seizure of the cryptocurrency and handing the funds over to the Israeli government

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Joav Galant, Minister of Defense of Israel, Photo: Shutterstock
Joav Galant, Minister of Defense of Israel, Photo: Shutterstock
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

The government of Israel announced today that it has seized millions of dollars in cryptocurrency from accounts that sent or received funds in alleged financial schemes for Iran's Revolutionary Guards and pro-Iranian extremist Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Israel's Defense Minister Yoav Galant said he ordered the seizure of the cryptocurrency and handing the funds over to the Israeli government.

He added that it was Israel's first "large-scale" operation targeting extremist Hezbollah and the elite Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards.

The two organizations have vowed to destroy Israel, and the US and some other governments consider them terrorists and have excluded them from the traditional global financial system.

The Israeli move was the result of efforts by multiple agencies, including the spy agency Mossad, Israel's military intelligence office, Israel Police and others.

Israel previously seized cryptocurrency belonging to the paramilitary wing of Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, as part of counter-terrorist financial investigations.

Galant said of what happened now that "the flow of terrorist funds was effectively cut off" and that it was the first "incident of that scale".

Iran's UN mission did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Israel's statement.

Israel's defense minister said Hezbollah and the Quds Force rely on virtual currency to fund their extremist activities.

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are used for illicit transactions because they are considered difficult to trace.

Anyone in the world can open a Bitcoin account and start receiving digital funds without revealing their name and address.

Countries under US sanctions like Iran have been working to create their own cryptocurrencies to circumvent financial restrictions.

Galant said that the confiscation of illicit cryptocurrencies will serve as a warning to all those financing terrorism, as Israeli authorities have developed means and techniques that can identify those involved in such transactions.

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