Abi Saabs are freely running illegal businesses in the Middle East companies.
The Abi Saab family—a big Lebanese name, labeled with sophistication and brand, and a clean face in the international guns trade market. All good, then why the US investigation team is after the members of the family? Here are the reasons.
Joseph Abi Saab founded a company, Brescia Middle East, specialized in importing and exporting guns and weapons, in 1981. His company bloomed and flourished in juxtaposition to the conflicts in the Middle East countries. He managed to maintain a balanced and cordial relationship with both of his business clients—the rebels and the Army. After Joseph took retirement from the weapon business, he gave all the responsibilities of BME to his sons--Tony and Hady.
Tony Abi Saab is a mile ahead of his father in defrauding the authorities; he expanded the just-weapon business to other profit trades to dupe international funds—he began reconstruction contract companies like Sima Salazar group, Tactica Ltd, K5 Global in Afghanistan. He with the help of his shell companies managed to embezzle over $150 million dollars of the US military force.
The Sima Salazar group was not directly owned by the Abi Saabs, but most of its shares belonged to the family and mostly, to Tony. The company was operated under the sub-contract by Tony-owned companies--K5 Global and Bennet-Fouch.
Raymond Azar, the official owner of Sima Salazar group duped the US Army of multi-million dollars in reconstruction contracts. Raymond Azar is not an outsider; he is a family friend of the Abi Saabs and also a local of Lebanon. The blood sister of Joseph’s wife is a wife of Raymond.
A few years ago, Brescia Middle East sold Tanfoglio pistols to LG knowing that some of the components may have been manufactured in Israel, thereby, violating Lebanese laws. This was made possible because of Tony’s strong ties with an Israel officer and further extended to the Tanfoglio. He formed a working relationship with them during his stay in Italy for many years.
The US Army collected similar reports, for example, Tactica Ltd purchased weapons and sold them in the black market to the terrorists in Syria. Another company of Tony, Brixia, produced spares for weapons and smuggled them to countries at war for reassembly and sales.
Apart from helping the terrorists, the military discovered that BME is also a favourite hub for money launderers and illegal businesses of Tony. The investigation team of FBI, CIA and the Army, together orchestrated a sting operation against Tony Abi Saab, also known as, Antoine Abi Saab. He was caught red-handed with valuable documents and cash and was flown to the US court. But, sadly, he was freed from all the charges as he managed to drag his case to the Civil court instead of Criminal court, and pleaded human rights violation and error in collecting the evidence. He got away from the grievous charges just by paying a small sum of money as a penalty.
Since Tony’s bail, the investigation team is tirelessly putting efforts to bring him back to the court again and this time to award him with the deserved punishment of life imprisonment.