FILE PHOTO: A Hezbollah fighter and a sheikh are seen in the Syria-Lebanon Border. REUTERS./

 – Britain has sanctioned an individual suspected of financing Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah movementas part of an effort to “disrupt an international terrorist-financing operation”the British government said on Tuesday.

The government said it had used domestic counter-terrorism powers for the first time to freeze all assets and economic resources belonging to Nazem Ahmad in the UK and barred anyone in the country from doing business with him or any of the companies he owns or controls.

Hezbollah declined a Reuters request for comment on the sanction on Tuesday. Reuters has been unable to contact Ahmad directly.

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Ahmad, who was sanctioned by the U.S. in 2019, has an extensive art collection in the UK and he conducts business with multiple UK-based artists, art galleries and auction houses, according to the British government’s statement.

“The firm action we have taken today will clamp down on those who are funding international terrorism, strengthening the UK’s economic and national security,” Treasury Lords Minister Joanna Penn said in the statement.

(Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar in London and Maya Gebeily in Beirut, writing by Muvija MEditing by William James and Peter Graff)

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