A high-ranking official in the internationally-recognised Yemeni government has been detained at Egypt’s Cairo International Airport, according to the Yemen Press Agency, allegedly in possession of over $1 million.
Ali Al-Nuaimi, who is the director of Prime Minister Maeen Abdul Malik’s office, was arrested by Cairo airport authorities after the large sum of money was discovered in a bag. He had refused to have his bag inspected on the grounds that he was carrying a diplomatic passport. According to the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, a properly marked diplomatic bag has diplomatic immunity from search and seizure.
Citing a former Yemeni Human Rights Minister, Hooria Mashhour, who served under President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi’s government, the news agency reported that Al-Nuami arrived in Egypt from Seiyun Airport in Yemen’s Hadhramaut.
He was said to be on his way to hand over the funds to a realtor on behalf of the Yemeni prime minister in order to purchase two flats in Cairo worth $1.2 million each.
Last month, Egyptian Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli received his Yemeni counterpart in Cairo where they held a joint press conference. Madbouli affirmed his country’s support for Yemeni stability and unity stating: “Yemen’s security is a national security for Egypt and the entire Arab nation […] we offer great support for treating Yemeni citizens and for thousands of students in Egypt.”
“The Egyptian government rejects all forms of regional intervention from non-Arab countries in Yemen, as those interventions destabilise and complicate the Yemeni scene,” he added while also reaffirming Egypt’s support for the Saudi-led coalition which militarily intervened in Yemen five years ago.