Since its takeover of the capital, Sanaa, by force of arms, Houthi militias have been able to earn a lot of money by imposing levies, using their brute force
Economic sources confirmed that, during the past year, Houthi militias managed to earn an amount exceeding YR2 Trillion from the levies imposed on the population in the various areas under their control, sources said
Houthi militias follow policies aimed at bulldozing the economy and reaping the largest possible amount of money illegally, whether through tax revenues, customs, or Zakat
During the year 2019, they imposed new taxes and royalties on merchants, importers and people of different professions, up to the imposition of fees on manual transport vehicles whose simple owners transport the goods of shoppers from the markets to their cars
Yemeni officials said that the pro-Iran Al Houthi militia’s ban on recently-printed government banknotes in areas under their control, including the capital, Sana’a, has held up the salaries of tens of thousands of civil servants and pensioners.
The officials said Al Houthis refused to work with the Yemeni rials that its central bank had printed in the past three years
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to brief the media
The finance ministry said the Al Houthi move paralysed most banking activities in areas under Al Houthi control, depriving tens of thousands of people, including around 40,000 pensioners, of desperately needed payments this month.
Officials in Sana’a said Al Houthis had given residents a month to hand over the newly printed but banned banknotes or face penalties that include jail. The militiamen said they would compensate them with old currency or an electronic rial they have created, they added.
In their latest violation, the militias have delayed the payment of salaries to public civil servicemen and pensioners in areas under their control in northern Yemen after they refused to work with newly printed banknotes
The sources said that those salaries, worth more than 10 billion Yemeni rials per month, include employees working in the health sectors, the judiciary, university teachers, civilian retirees and the control and accounting apparatus
They also formed field teams to go to hotels and tourist establishments in Sana'a, demanded them sums of money in the name of fines for unspecified violations, ranging from 30 to 100 thousand Yemeni riyals in bonds signed by Houthi leaders