Houthi financier sanctioned by UN for funding Iran-backed militia

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A Houthi financier has been sanctioned by the United Nations for violating international law by seizing private assets to fund the Iran-backed group’s armed militia, the UN said.

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Saleh Mesfer Saleh al-Shaer was sanctioned for providing support for acts that “threaten the peace, security, and stability of Yemen,” the UN Security Council said in a statement on its website.

Al-Shaer has used a network of banks and security forces to “arbitrarily dispossess selected private individuals and entities of their wealth,” the statement added.

He has, in his capacity of ‘Judicial Custodian’ violated international law by seizing assets and entities owned by individuals detained by the Iran-backed Houthis.

Al-Shaer reportedly used a special criminal court, the national security bureau, the central bank, and private banks to seize funds from people “without any due judicial process or a possibility of redress,” the statement added.

He is said to have assisted the Houthis in acquiring smuggled weapons.

Yemen has been wracked by civil war since the Houthi militia seized control of Sanaa in 2014.

An Arab military coalition intervened in 2015, offering a ceasefire in 2021 that was rejected by Houthi leaders.

Fighting in the key oil-producing region of Marib has intensified in recent weeks, with the Arab Coalition conducting air strikes on Houthi targets.

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