Houthi militants are reported to have “broken into the headquarters of the Central Bank of Yemen in the capital Sanaa and stolen 23 billion Yemeni riyals [$107 million] from the public treasury.”
The Anadolu Agency reported a source who works at the bank as saying that the militants justified their actions to support what they called “their war against the Yemeni cities”.
The source, who asked not to be named, claimed the rebels asked the bank for six billion Yemeni riyals [$28 million], when the bank’s Governor Mohamed Bin Hammam refused to hand over the money, they attacked the stole the contents of the treasury.
The source pointed out that Hammam has repeatedly rejected Houthi orders, threatening that he would resign if the looted amounts were not immediately returned.
“The stolen amount will put Yemen into a financial crisis, especially after the bank has been unable to pay the salaries of state employees’ for April following the cessation of oil production and the decline in tax revenues,” the source explained.
The governor of the Central Bank of Yemen has succeeded over the past period to maintain the exchange rate in Yemen and to prevent the local currency from deteriorating by ordering all banks not to deal with US dollars since the start of the Saudi-led Operation Decisive Storm late last month.
It was not possible to get immediate comment from the Houthis on the incident.