A local organization revealed that 30 companies were involved in money laundering for the Houthi militia, and the smuggling of Iranian oil to the militias.
In a recent report, the Yemeni “Restore Initiative” organization accused local banks and money transfer networks of committing money-laundering crimes for the benefit of the Houthis, and said that the coup militias are using 30 front companies to import Iranian oil to circumvent US sanctions imposed on Tehran, according to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.
The newspaper pointed out that the report issued by the organization, which was established under the name “Restore Initiative” to recover Yemeni funds looted by the Houthis, revealed the involvement of Yemeni commercial companies with local banks and exchange companies to smuggle Iranian oil, and money laundering in favor of financing the Houthis in their war against the Yemeni people, with the support of Unlimited Iranian.
The 53-page report, in both Arabic and English, revealed that the Houthis worked to exclude Yemeni businessmen, escalate others affiliated with them, and establish oil companies, with the aim of circumventing international and US sanctions, as well as to feed their treasury and finance their wars to prolong the conflict in the country.
The report indicated that there are about 30 companies that the Houthis take as a front for importing Iranian oil, and some of them work in the liberated areas, where they work with intermediary companies, in return for the latter receiving large price differences between the purchase price and the selling price at the stations.
The intermediary companies were registered in the names of Houthi leaders of the second and third ranks as new businessmen, as they opened bank accounts for them in the commercial banks under their control, after they disrupted the role of the Anti-Money Laundering Department in the Central Bank, and ignored the investigation about the funds of the owners of these companies, and their field of work, The source of the capital, according to the report.
The report listed the names of a number of companies involved in money laundering, the most prominent of which are the intermediary companies “Star Plus” and “Black Diamond” owned by Salah Felita, brother of the official spokesman for the Houthi group, Muhammad Abdul Salam. And that the “Black Diamond” company is followed by a number of other companies, including: “Zaracon Company for Import”, “Trade Center”, “Top Food Company” and “Good Hyper” commercial company, where accounts were opened for them in banks to conduct business, without investigation or Auditing according to international standards for banks.
The Yemeni initiative also accused, in its report, the Bank of Yemen and Kuwait of being “the most involved bank in the process of importing Iranian oil derivatives, and it is involved in smuggling militia funds to the Lebanese Hezbollah, after the documents proved transfers from the same bank abroad, without the arrival of derivatives.” Oil in most cases.
The newspaper said that it had obtained a copy of the report, accusing the Bank of Yemen and Kuwait, the Shamil Bank of Bahrain, and the International Bank of Yemen, of providing great facilities to the Houthis, by creating bank accounts and fake checks, and then transferring the balance to the Houthi leader Ibrahim Mutahar al-Moayad, the financial director of the group. The Houthis, head of the financial department of the Ministry of Defense of the group. He described this step as “aims to hide the source of checks and accounts that are considered governmental, which are withdrawn with overdrawn balances at the branch of the Central Bank of Yemen, which is controlled by the Houthi group in Sana’a.”
The report indicated that the facilities provided by the Bank of Yemen and Kuwait were in the name of the “Black Diamond” company, which also transferred funds to more than one company, including Al-Sharafi Oil Derivatives Trading Company.
In addition to the commercial banks, the report says that the “Sweden” Exchange Company and “CAC Bank”, which is under the control of the Houthis, work for these companies, and they turn to the exchange market and engage in speculation in the currency market on behalf of the militia, taking advantage of the time difference between receiving Amounts from retail traders are in riyals and delivered in dollars to import traders, at the same time that the militia’s money changers benefit in the currency market.
The report included a black list containing the names of Houthi authorities and leaders, commercial companies and banks involved in supplying the Houthis with oil trade and money laundering. In addition, the report contained a set of information and details about the black market and how it is managed by the Houthis.
At the conclusion of its report, the Yemeni organization concerned with the recovery of looted Yemeni funds recommended not granting any fuel shipments imported through the companies mentioned in the report entry licenses to the ports of the Republic of Yemen, and adopting government conditions to qualify companies wishing to import fuel to Houthi areas, as well as approving the ports of the legitimate government regions to import Oil derivatives to Yemen.
It called on all commercial banks, financial companies and exchange companies to check all documents of companies importing oil derivatives in order not to be exposed to local, regional and international sanctions.
The report recommended the international community and the relevant and competent authorities to tighten control and examination procedures for the documents of oil ships, as well as the quality of derivatives and their compliance with specifications, and to know the sources of these shipments in accordance with international resolutions to limit Iran’s supply of the Houthi militia with derivatives used by the militias as a major source of financing its war on Yemen and the Yemeni people.
The “Restore Initiative” called on the legitimate government to publish information and data of companies importing oil derivatives to Yemen for public opinion, and to implement the principle of transparency, integrity and freedom of information.
The recommendations stressed the importance of international organizations providing data and information on humanitarian aid to Yemen, especially to Houthi-controlled areas, in order not to be used militarily and financing the war for the Houthi militia. It also appealed to the international and local community to issue a blacklist of all those proven to be involved in financing the militias with oil, and to impose sanctions on them, and on anyone who provides any facilities to do so.