The team of experts tasked with following up on international sanctions on Yemen, in a report prepared, accused the Yemeni government of money laundering and corruption that negatively affects the arrival of adequate food supplies, and accused the Houthis of using tax funds to support their “war effort.”
The team’s annual report, which was submitted to the Security Council, also indicated that the Central Bank of Yemen laundered a large portion of a $ 2 billion Saudi deposit, which enabled traders to obtain more than $ 400 million illegally.
Observers said that Saudi Arabia deposited two billion dollars with the Central Bank of Yemen in January 2018 as part of a development and reconstruction program.
This amount was intended to finance a credit line to purchase commodities such as rice, sugar, milk and flour to enhance food security and stabilize the prices of these commodities locally.
However, the United Nations investigation found that the Central Bank of Yemen violated the rules of changing currencies, manipulated the currency market, and “laundered a large part of the Saudi deposit with a complex scheme for money laundering” that generated profits of about $ 423 million for traders.
Accusation of the Houthis
Observers said that they consider this “an act of money laundering and corruption committed by government institutions, in this case the Central Bank of Yemen and the government of Yemen, in collusion with businessmen and political figures in important locations for the benefit of a select group of merchants and businessmen enjoying special privileges.”
The report also accused the Houthi group of collecting at least one billion and 800 million dollars in state revenues in 2019 to help finance the war.
He added that the Houthis “perform jobs that fall exclusively within the authority of the Yemeni government, as they collect taxes and other public revenues, a large part of which is used to finance their war effort.”
United Nations observers stated that “there is mounting evidence that individuals or entities within the Islamic Republic of Iran are involved in sending weapons or equipment to the Houthis,” in violation of a UN arms embargo, while Iran denies providing such support to the Houthis.
The annual report coincided with United Nations officials saying that Yemen is on the verge of widespread famine, in which millions of civilians are imminent.