A Hezbollah flag flies behind a fighter standing at a watchtower on the Lebanon-Syria border. File picture: Bilal Hussein/AP
Cape Town - Two brothers linked to Hezbollah in Lebanon are set to appear in a Gauteng court on Monday after their recent arrest in a multinational police operation.

National police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo told the Weekend Argus on Friday that Usama “Sam” Hamada, 52, and his brother Issam, 56, were scheduled to appear in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court for a bail hearing.

The two were arrested on February 13 in an operation that included Interpol, the international police network, alongside the Hawks, national crime intelligence and the Ekurhuleni metro police.

The duo face charges in the US of “conspiring to export drone parts and technology from the US to the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia in Lebanon”.

They together with another suspect are accused of shipping the parts from the US to Lebanon via South Africa and the United Arab Emirates.

Usama Hamada allegedly told authorities the “inertial measurement units and digital compasses would be used in drones in South Africa to monitor wildlife to prevent poaching”, according to US authorities.

Naidoo said Usama Hamada lives in South Africa and is a citizen of the country. “Sam was arrested at his house in Kempton Park and Issam was arrested at OR Tambo International (airport) after he arrived from abroad,” said Naidoo.

“Both wanted in the US for exporting goods without a permit.”

Naidoo said the “normal extradition process would be followed” once the local court has concluded its hearing.

The brothers were expected to stand trial in a court in Minnesota.

A third accused, Samir “Tony” Berro, also a Lebenese national, remains at large.

Hezbollah, a Shi'a political party and militant group based in Lebanon, is considered a terrorist organisation by the US.

Weekend Argus