Source ICIJ

NICOSIA, Cyprus:An accused financier of Hamas has extensive business ties in Europe and owns a stake in a lucrative Cyprus firm that mines Egyptian gold, a new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the Israeli news outlet Shomrim reveals.
Sudanese businessman Abdelbasit Hamza, an ally of former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, was sanctioned by the United States in the aftermath of the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack on Israel for managing Hamas’ investments and for his involvement in the transfer of almost $20 million to the organization, including funds sent directly to a senior Hamas financial officer.
The U.S. Treasury Department accused Hamza of “longstanding ties to terrorism financing,” including past links with companies connected to al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden. He was also sanctioned by the United Kingdom in November.
Leaked documents analyzed by ICIJ and Shomrim reveal Hamza’s longstanding ownership interest in the Cyprus holding company in partnership with a Swiss firm, and that the company’s assets totaled roughly $35 million as of 2018. Hamza has not been sanctioned by the European Union.
The files come from the Cyprus Confidential leak, a trove of more than 3.6 million documents analyzed by ICIJ and 68 media partners, including Shomrim, as part of a recent global investigation.
Udi Levy, the former head of the Mossad unit that tracked the financing of the U.S.-designated terrorist organization, told Shomrim that Hamza was “a central figure in Hamas’ investment portfolio.” Levy said that the fact that the U.S. and Israel did not disrupt Hamza’s efforts earlier represented a significant oversight by both countries’ security establishments.
In written responses to ICIJ and Shomrim, Hamza denied any connections to Hamas or al-Qaida. He said that he had never transferred money to the Hamas official and had never even heard the individual’s name before the sanctions listing.
He added that he had no relationship with the company that the U.S. government claims he used to help Hamas launder money. Hamza also said that he was “very surprised” to have been sanctioned by the Treasury Department, and “immediately sen[t] an email to them and told them [their information] is not correct.”
Hamza has maintained business ties in Europe for nearly two decades, ICIJ and Shomrim found. He has been an owner of Matz Holdings, a Cyprus firm incorporated in February 2005 that holds lucrative concessions from Egypt to exploit two gold mines in the country.
Around the time of al-Bashir’s fall from power in 2019, Hamza sold a large portion of his shares in Matz Holdings; he currently owns a 10% stake in the company. In addition to having a Swiss business partner in Matz Holdings, he also owns a Spanish real estate company that was sanctioned by the Treasury Department roughly a week after the sanctions were imposed on Hamza himself.