Houthi militias loot currency exchange offices in Yemen’s Sanaa

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Sanaa – Houthi militias have stormed currency exchange offices in Sanaa on Tuesday and looted large sums of money, sources have confirmed.

According to eyewitnesses, Houthi gunmen who arrived in five armored vehicles stormed al-Kuraimi exchange office in central Sanaa a while before operating hours ended, disabled surveillance cameras and looted all the money there as well as computers and electronic devices. They also assaulted the employees.

Eyewitnesses added that Houthis brought huge bags on their way out, and it is believed that they contained the money looted, which is estimated in the millions.

The Houthis also stormed al-Sayfi and Soueid exchange offices in Sanaa and looted them and shut them down.

Bankers said this was a systematic plan to destroy the banking sector.

Some banking sources said the Houthis justified their move by claiming they seek to protect the Yemeni rial.

However, sources have voiced surprise at how looting money can protect the currency from deteriorating. They added that the Houthis looted the money for financial reasons that will not be resolved by confiscating funds and raiding exchange offices.

Meanwhile, Houthi militias have kidnapped merchants in Ibb after they refused to pay for “war effort.” A local source said those kidnapped include three gold traders. They were identified as Mohammed al-Sanaa, Khalil al-Qudaimi and Abdulmalik Abu al-Rijal.