The Houthis have resorted to stealing employee salaries in Hodeidah in order to compensate for the shrinking support that it was receiving from Iran, as Yemen’s legitimate government accused the coup militia of stealing $58 million from import duties on oil derivatives through the western port of Hodeidah, which is under the control of the terrorist militia.
The Yemeni Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed in a statement published by the official Saba news agency on Monday, May 18 that the Houthis looted revenues from importing oil derivatives from the special account in the Central Bank of Hodeidah, amounting to more than 35 billion riyals (approximately $58 million), which was allocated to pay the salaries of civil servants.
The Yemeni Foreign Ministry considered this behavior a flagrant violation of the understandings of the interim procedures for importing oil derivatives to the port of Hodeidah, which was agreed with the office of the UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths.
The ministry held the Houthis responsible for thwarting these understandings and their consequences, calling on the United Nations to assume its responsibility as the monitoring and guarantor party to implement the interim measures and obligate the Houthis to submit data on the current status of the special account.
According to the ministry’s statement, the Houthi militia continues to evade the implementation of agreements and pledges and instead loot international aid and employees’ salaries, clearly showing its unwillingness to seek peace in favor of nurturing its absurd war in Yemen.
In October 2019, the Yemeni government had agreed to introduce fuel ships to Houthi-controlled areas through the port of Hodeidah, provided the group committed to pay tax and customs fees to a special account in the central bank’s Hodeidah branch to be allocated to pay civilian salaries in areas under Houthi control.
Most government officials have lived in Houthi-controlled areas without salaries for more than three years, amid international demands that the salary file be resolved to alleviate the tragic humanitarian conditions.
The Houthi plan is dependent on theft in hope of compensating for Iran curtailing its support for the militia. On Sunday, May 17, the Houthi militia mobilized its forces to pursue the poor and steal the limited Ramadan aid that is usually provided by merchants and businessmen during the holy month each year.
The Houthis prevented merchants and businessmen from distributing any aid or charity, claiming that it all must support the “war effort” and enrich the Houthi leaders, while millions of Yemenis are living in dire circumstances.
The Houthi militia is also widespread at street intersections to rob money from well-off car owners, some even giving to traffic officers in secret in recognition of their efforts to regulate traffic before the time for breaking the fast.
Earlier, a report by the Yemeni Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed that the Houthis plundered the equivalent of $6 billion during 2017 from tax, zakat, customs, and miscellaneous resources, as well as revenues from service institutions and profits of government companies.
Taxes, customs and zakat payments are the most vital artery feeding the Houthis’ financial basket, providing the militia with more than 60% of its total financial resources.